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Build a Shoebox for a Child in need

John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.

It's almost that time of the year again. Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is offering you the chance to touch the lives of children and families around the world. While you have an amazing Christmas, there is a child and a family in need of clothes, shoes and the Gospel of Jesus. You can bring hope, joy and the love of Christ to that child and family with a simple gift-filled shoebox.

Shoeboxes can include personal care items, clothing and accessories, arts and crafts, toys, and a loving note written by yourself. These items vary from boy to girl, ages two to four, five to nine, and 10 to 14. Items that should not go into a shoebox are: candy, war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures, medications, breakable or combustible cans. Do not include damaged or broken items. These items can be harmful to the children and their families. Keep in mind, some items do not travel safely without breaking or being damaged.

On Monday, Nov. 13, OCC Shoebox National Collection week begins and lasts until Monday, Nov. 20. During this period, locations will be set-up in Madison and in surrounding counties to drop-off decorated and gift-filled shoeboxes to send to a child and family in need.

The Middle Florida Baptist Association (MFBA) will be open during select hours to receive the shoeboxes. MFBA is located at 349 SW Captain Brown Rd., in Madison. From Monday, Nov. 13 until Saturday, Nov. 18, MFBA will be open from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. everyday. On Sunday, Nov. 19, MFBA will be open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and on Monday, Nov. 20, MFBA will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more information, call Charlotte Hammond at (850) 973-8607.

Don't have a way to physically build a shoebox? You can go online and build one virtually, and Samaritan's Purse packs one for you! Go online to www.samaritanspurse.org/ operation-christmas-child/buildonline.

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