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Operation Christmas Child appeal starts

The annual Operation Christmas Child appeal is under way in southwestern North Dakota, with requests being made to fill shoe boxes with small toys, school supplies and hygiene items for children in Third World countries.

"It's to give children a Christmas gift. Normally, these children don't receive any type of gift -- it's the only one they receive," said coordinator Jodeen Myers.

Along with the gifts, a message of the good news of Jesus is placed into every box, she added.

Dickinson's St. John Lutheran Church is the shoe box drop-off site for this region. The collection week is from Nov. 12-19.

Red-and-green colored shoe boxes are available for any group or individual to pick up at the church, located at 146 Sixth Ave. W. However, other shoe boxes (not boot-sized) or clear plastic containers of a similar shape are welcome, she said.

The shoe boxes should be filled, according to a boy or girl, ages 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Suggested items include small cars, stuffed animals, socks, pencils, crayons, toothbrushes, soap, hair clips, flashlights or hard candy. Families may include a photo of their family.

Donations of $7 per box are appreciated but not mandatory to cover the cost of shipping, she said.

Last year, more than 500 shoe boxes were shipped from the Dickinson collection site. This year, Myers has set the goal at 800 shoe boxes.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization.

For more information, call Myers at 701-225