Volunteers collect gifts for 13,300 children

Published 9:25 am Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Albert Lea and surrounding cities’ volunteers have collected enough gift-filled shoeboxes to reach more than 13,300 children in need through the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child, according to a press release.

The Rochester area team for Operation Christmas Child is now thanking the community for their gift donations already on their way to children in need worldwide. For many of the children, the shoebox gift delivered through the local project will be the first gift they will have ever received.

Although local drop-off locations have closed for the season, there is still time to pack a gift-filled shoebox online for children suffering from poverty, natural disaster, war, terror, disease and famine. Like online shopping, visitors can browse samaritanspurse.org/occ to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish by uploading a photo and writing a note of encouragement to be included in the shoebox they build online. They can also follow their box to discover where in the world it will be delivered.

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Participants can give a $25 gift card to a family member or friend so they can join in the excitement of Operation Christmas Child by packing a shoebox gift online. These shoeboxes — filled with school supplies, toys, hygiene items and notes of encouragement—are delivered to children in some of the hardest-to-reach countries around the world.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call  or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.