Group accepts Christmas gift boxes for needy kids overseas
People in church groups, Scout troops, classrooms and service clubs have been getting a head start on Christmas by packing shoe boxes with gifts for children in crisis-stricken countries. It's a project that's open to individuals and families seeking to get into the Christmas spirit.
Last year island residents prepared 5,600 boxes in the annual Operation Christmas Child drive, filling two 20-foot Matson containers, said local coordinator Rebecca Woodland.
Boxes prepared this year will be collected Nov. 12-19. They should be delivered to volunteers at the shipping container behind the Thrift Shop at Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St. Volunteers will be on duty:
» Monday to Friday, Nov. 12-16, 3 to 6 p.m.
» Saturday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
» Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 to 6 p.m.
Gift suggestions are presented at samaritanspurse.org, the Web site of the Christian relief organization that sponsors the project, or call (800) 410-7631.
School supplies, socks, T-shirts, hygiene items and small toys that don't require batteries are good ideas, said Woodland. "Jump ropes are really popular," she said. Boxes should be marked for boy or girl.
Glass, liquids and food, including candy, are no-nos, she said. Shampoo can leak and candy has melted.
Samaritan's Purse asks that a check for $7 for the organization be put in each box for shipping. But if people choose not to, "Don't let that deter you from doing a shoe box," Woodland said. Some people donate money.