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Time for Operation Christmas Child

It’s time to pack shoeboxes for children overseas through Operation Christmas Child.

Any sturdy shoebox will do, but the project provides colorful, free boxes.

This year, the Lighthouse Church of God at Dickinson  has stepped forward as the Dickinson-area relay station.

“Last year, our church participated and we enjoyed it -- it’s the season of giving and we loved being part of it,” said Pastor Chris Ondrovich. “Last year, our boxes went to Zimbabwe -- that was such a great thing.”

This year, the church learned Samaritan’s Purse  needed a new relay station in Dickinson.

“I called the the regional office in Minnesota, and found no church had taken the job so we did,” he said.

The church has  a stack of 1,000 boxes to distribute. They may be picked up at the parsonage office at 1066 Dell Avenue (next to the church) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They must be returned during National Collection Week, Nov. 13-20, because Ondrovich delivers  them to Bismarck on Nov. 20.

Sponsored by Samaritan's Purse, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries since its inception in 1993.

Individuals, families and churches fill empty shoeboxes with  a “wow” item, such as a doll or or soccer ball, and other fun toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. (Note that no toothpaste or candy is allowed this year due to customs regulations.) If possible, include a $9 donation per shoebox to cover shipping and ministry expenses. By donating online, receive a tracking label to follow the box (/operation-christmas-child/follow-your-box/)

During National Collection Week, the shoeboxes from more than 4,000 dropoff sites are forwarded to regional collection sites and eventually shipped overseas.

“The best part of it is that kids participate,” said  Ondrovich. “It isn’t just an adult ministry. The kids can see where their boxes are going.”

For more information call Ondrovich at 701-590-5734.

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