Add needy children to your back-to-school shopping list

Aug 21, 2013

Amid shopping sprees for school supplies, kids and parents in Mukilteo are looking beyond their own needs and considering the difference a pencil or pen would make in the lives of needy children overseas.

For many poverty-stricken children, often a lack of basic supplies is what stands between them and attending school.

Mukilteo families are stocking up on school supplies for Operation Christmas Child—a massive year-round project in which volunteers pack shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement for children in poverty across the globe.

Last year, Snohomish County residents collected more than 8,300 shoeboxes filled with gifts for children around the world.  These shoeboxes were delivered to the Philippines, Panama, Peru, Mongolia and Nepal.

For many of these children, the shoebox will be the first gift they have ever received.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 100 million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children worldwide. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the project expects to collect another 9.8 million shoebox gifts in 2013.

National Collection Week for shoebox gifts is Nov. 18-25, but U.S. volunteers are needed year-round, and shoeboxes are collected throughout the year at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.

Families can also “build a box” through an online tool offering a personalized and convenient way to send a gift to a child in one of the hardest-to-reach countries.

For more information visit, samaritanspurse.org or call 253-572-1155.

-Edited by Beacon staff

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