GRANT COUNTY - It's that time again for Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, which distributes gift-laden shoeboxes to needy children worldwide.

Local people can participate by picking up empty shoeboxes (if needed) and a brochure at Len's Drug in John Day, choose a boy or girl category, and fill the box with new age-appropriate gifts.

Suggested items, such as small toys, school supplies and hygiene needs, are listed in the informational brochure, as well as those items which should not be included.

Donors are asked to contribute $7, either online or inside the shoebox, to help cover shipping costs.

Filled shoeboxes may be dropped off by Saturday, Nov. 13, at Len's Drug or Monday, Nov. 15, at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Oak Harbor Freight has again volunteered to pick up and deliver Grant County's boxes to the official collection center in Bend.

Last year Grant County churches and families provided 493 boxes, just short of the 500-box goal.

Samaritan's Purse has headed up the project since 1993. This year, donors may use a "follow your box" feature on the nonprofit's website, to track their contribution.

All boxes from the Western United States are shipped to Southeast Asia. This is the second year that OCC will be able to distribute boxes to North Korea.

For more information, call Zola Pike, 541-932-4625 or Corinne Stennett, 541-932-4905.

Visit for a website link to Samaritan's Purse.

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