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Pagosans collect gifts for world’s largest Christmas project

Christmas is arriving early in Pagosa Springs, as CrossRoad Christian Fellowship prepares to serve as a collection point for Operation Christmas Child.  Soon, with the help of local volunteers, the site will be brimming with festively wrapped shoeboxes full of gifts. 

 Through Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project, Pagosa Springs residents are helping send shoe box gifts this year to more than 8 million children in 100 countries suffering from natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty. 

 Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology that allows donors to “follow your box” to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need.  To register shoebox gifts and find out what country they are delivered to, use the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org.

Local collection site is CrossRoad Christian Fellowship, 1044 Park Ave. (next to the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center), 731-4384.

The site is open Monday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Tuesday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Thursday, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.- p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Last year, Pagosa Springs contributed 870 boxes to join the Operation Christmas Child effort.  This past Saturday, 130 boxes were enthusiastically packed by local kids and adults at the Veggie Tales Shoebox Packing Party at Centerpoint Church. The goal this year is to collect over 950 gift-filled shoeboxes from families, kids, churches, schools and civic organizations in the area.

 Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, has delivered more than 77 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in some 130 countries.

For more information call Nancy Burke at 731-5901 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org