Event to kick off Christmas gift drive

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WALLA WALLA -- Local children, families and volunteers will host a celebration event this evening to kick off the 2010 Operation Christmas Child season in which they aim to collect more than 2,650 shoe box gifts.

Volunteers will pass out red and green shoe boxes, and attendees will have the opportunity to hear about the impact Operation Christmas Child has had overseas, according to a news release. Walla Walla residents will learn how they can affect children in need with a simple shoe box gift this holiday season.

The shoe boxes are hand-delivered to hurting children around the world using whatever means necessary--sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, helicopters, boats, elephants, even dog sleds. The kickoff here will run from 6:30-8 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church, 595 Abbott Road.

To RSVP call 529-7178 or e-mail dclark_ww@msn.com.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is the world's largest Christmas project, the release said. Since 1993, the project has hand-delivered more than 77 million shoe box gifts to needy children in more than 130 countries.

Samaritan's Purse uses tracking technology that allows donors to "follow your box" to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need. Using the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org, families can register their boxes and find out where in the world their boxes brought joy to children.

For more information, call (253) 572-1155 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org. National collection week for gift-filled shoe boxes is Nov. 15-22.

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