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Giving holiday cheer globally

Staff writer

Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church, 610 S. Main St., Hillsboro, is a local drop-off point this week for an effort to send vital items to those in need around the world.

Dorothy Broce of rural Lost Springs has participated in Operation Christmas Child for many years.

The first year, she donated two shoeboxes of goods. This year, she made 16, varying them by gender and age.

“They are jammed full,” she said.

She includes items such as coloring books and crayons, colored pencils, lead pencils, erasers, chalk, pencil sharpeners, spiral notebooks, notepads, rulers, toothbrushes, combs, rubber balls, yoyos, flashlights, socks, underwear, T-shirts, glue sticks, small cars for boys, dolls for girls, and stuffed animals.

When she drops them off at Parkview, she will include a check to cover $9 per box for shipping.

Years ago, after Broce put her name and address in boxes, she received a letter from a girl in Romania. The two have kept in touch ever since.

“Filling those boxes to help others is a rewarding experience,” Broce said.

Aulne youth group gathered Thursday at the church to pack hundreds of boxes. Tables of items were arranged by gender and age. Adults also contributed boxes, which were due Sunday and transported to Hillsboro. At least 380 boxes were filled.

Eastmoor United Methodist Church fills 300 boxes every year for boys and girls. The girls’ boxes include a dress. Women from churches in Marion, Florence, and Hillsboro get together at Eastmoor two days a month for 10 months to sew dresses.

“We have a lot of fun,” Norma Kline said.

Dresses are folded, tied with a ribbon, and inserted in zip-lock bags.

The boxes will be packed and delivered Saturday.

Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to people around the world since 1970, is collecting thousands of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes of items such as stuffed animals, hygiene items, and school supplies for children.

Every shoebox is labeled to indicate whether it was packed for a boy or a girl and in which age category: 2 to 4, 5 to 9, or 10 to 14.

A donation of $9 per box is requested to cover shipping and other project costs.

After collection is complete Sunday, boxes will be sent to a regional site at Wichita and then shipped by semi to a regional processing center in Denver.

Each box will be opened and inspected, and sometimes items will be added. A booklet, “The Greatest Gift,” will be included.

The boxes ultimately will end up at Samaritan’s Purse headquarters in North Carolina for distribution.

According to Kevin Freuchting of Marion, the boxes are prayed over at every stop along the way. Most of the boxes from this area will go to Mexico or Central America.

Last modified Nov. 17, 2021

 

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