Shoebox gifts bring joy to kids

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I am writing to thank Oak Park residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Because of the generosity of donors in Oak Park and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, collected more than 8.8 million shoeboxes in 2018. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2018, the ministry is now sending more than 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children suffering from poverty, natural disasters, war, disease and famine.

These simple gifts bring smiles to the faces of children around the world. Packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, these gifts bring joy and are a tangible expression of God's love. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

It's not too late for people to make a difference. Though drop-off locations serving Oak Park shoebox packers are closed until November 2019, anyone can still pack a personalized shoebox gift online at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/volunteerwithOCC.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project — many who do so year after year. These simple gifts send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten.

Dana Williams

Operation Christmas Child

Samaritan's Purse

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