Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes deadline fast approaching - Etcetera - 11/6/13

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The deadline for collecting Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes is rapidly approaching, said Fay Tolley Smith, media coordinator.

Thousands of youngsters in 100 third world nations receive a shoebox filled with gifts.

“Finding a bar of soap produces a joy most of us cannot comprehend,” Fay said. “If the soap is Ivory, it will float atop the muddy water where families must bathe and wash their clothes. Other soaps can slip away and sink out of sight in the murky water.”

“It was the picture of a simple bar of soap in the hands of a small child that reaffirmed my family’s commitment to packing Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes for the past 17 years. My granddaughter, Peri, then 7, and I had watched a video of Paul and Loie Bruizeman of Kennewick delivering the shoeboxes to children in Madagascar.

Collection week is Nov. 18-25 and volunteers are welcomed at the following sites in Walla Walla:

Eastgate Seventh-day Adventist Church, 380 N. Tausick Way, Nov. 18-22, 3-6 p.m.; Nov. 23-24, 2 p.m.; Nov. 25, 8-10 a.m., contact Guy Robinson, 509-200-9688.

Trinity Baptist Church, 595 Abbott Road, Nov. 18-21 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Nov. 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Nov. 23, 11 a.m.-noon; Nov. 24, noon-4 p.m.; Nov. 25, 9 a.m.-noon, Flo McCoon, 509-520-7495 or 509-525-8798.

In Dayton: Community Bible Church, 203 S. Second St., Nov. 18, noon-4 p.m.; Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Nov. 20, 2-5 p.m.; Nov. 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Nov. 22, 1-6 p.m.; Nov. 23, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Nov. 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Nov. 25, 9 a.m.-noon, Lael Loyd, 509-836-8976 or 509-382-2392.

Richland: The regional collection center is at Bethel Church, 600 Shockley Road, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. all week.

For more details on Christmas Child Shoebox information, go towww.Samaritanspurse.org, Operation Christmas Child link .

Area youngsters, adults, service groups, businesses and churches are involved in packing boxes for children 14 and younger. Donors are asked to include $7 per shoebox to defray shipping costs. The biblical Christmas story in a child’s native language is added.

Worldwide nonprofit Christian relief agency Samaritan’s Purse, founded by Franklin Graham, started the outreach 20 years ago. In 2012, Mid-Columbians donated 12,642 shoeboxes as part of 6.5 million nationwide.

By the way, 17 years later, Peri is still packing a bar of soap in her shoeboxes.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or 526-8313.

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