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Shoebox gifts help kids this Christmas

Empty shoeboxes have always made good Christmas gift packages. Why not use yours to help a child in need?

The organization Samaritan’s Purse is getting ready for another year of Operation Christmas Child, the mission to provide shoebox gifts to millions of underprivileged children around the world.

An official drop-off site for the project is in Chilton County. The site is The Church at Bethel, located at 10042 Collins Chapel Road, Thorsby.

Anyone can pack a shoebox with gifts for a boy or girl, in one of three age categories: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Many local churches are already collecting boxes. These churches will transport the boxes to the official drop-off site during the week of Nov. 16-23. Or, people may take gifts directly to the site on the listed dates.

The site’s operation hours are as follows:

Monday and Tuesday: 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Wednesday: 9 a.m. until noon

Thursday: 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., 6-8 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Sunday: 1 to 4:30 p.m.

For specific information on the dos and don’ts of packing a shoebox gift, visit www.samaritanspurse.org. For example, liquid items, medicine, toy guns and similar items are prohibited. If shoeboxes are wrapped, the lids must be wrapped separately. Also, each shoebox should include $7 to help with shipping and other expenses.

Checks should be made to Samaritan’s Purse with a note on the memo line that the gift is for Operation Christmas Child.

If you would like to volunteer to help receive boxes at The Church at Bethel, call the Chilton Baptist Association at 755-3188 to schedule a time, no later than Nov. 6. For more information, call The Church at Bethel at 857-2424 or the association.