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Stuffing boxes to send to needy children

Samaritan's Purse will complete their National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child on Monday.

The goal of the collection week is to stuff shoeboxes full of items to send to children in poverty overseas.

“It’s a great feeling to give back to understand that you’re a part of something bigger and that you’re giving back to others that you may never even meet or know,” said Dara Rose who is a coordinator for the collection event.

She said each year the event gets bigger and they have more participation.

“Every year we gain more and more boxes and more and more people are told about Operation Christmas Child which we are very grateful for. We have a lot of boxes here. The more, the merrier. The more people we can save and reach and just touch different lives,” Rose added.

Lezlie Ontiveros works at the Indiana University South Bend campus and said they got a group together to donate.

"We kind of took it on as a club and we got other clubs involved. We had a packing party Thursday. It’s just fun to get together and do something like this," Ontiveros said.

The program started back in 1993 and since then has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 124 million children throughout 150 different countries.

Rose said a box is easy to put together.

“A box is very simple to assemble. You can fill it with non-liquid hygiene things like soap and toothbrush toothpaste, things that we take for granted every day,” she added.

Organizers will be at Hillside Missionary Church from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to collect the final boxes.

For those who want to donate and are unable to do it in person, boxes can be stuffed online.

Also, shipping can be tracked and the donor can see what country received the box.

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