What is "Operation Christmas Child?" When I first heard of this event, I thought it was someone hosting a holiday pageant for kids to dress up in their best Christmas attire. Quickly learned I was way off from my friend Hollye Jaklewicz, Abilene's Media Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical humanitarian Christian aid organization. The group provides aid to people in need around the world as a key part of Samaritan's Christian mission work. Furthermore, Operation Christmas Child is a project wherein volunteers build/fill a standard-size shoebox with a list of things needed by children around the world.

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Samaritan's Purse then delivers the gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 100 countries. The importance of this is two-fold. One, we are helping children in need. Two, we are teaching our own children about giving to others. It's a great way to share our blessings with others.

I think the coolest part of this endeavor is that our own children love picking out needed items for children their own age. The time to build these shoeboxes is now, as the official collection week is November 13 through November 20, 2023.

To get started, visit Samaritan's Purse website to learn what is needed, how to build the shoebox, and who will be delivering your box.

Being that we are big-hearted Texans, it does not surprise me that individuals from Abilene and throughout West Texas are already putting together these Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. If you can, please help.

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