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Letter: Thank You to Long Islanders From Operation Christmas Child

Packing hope and joy into 21,395 gift-filled shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, Long Island residents gave children around the world a reason to smile this Christmas season and beyond. Shoe box gifts filled with meaningful, yet simple toys, school supplies, and hygiene items are now being distributed to children living in desperate places around the world.

In 2009, giving was generous to this project of Samaritan’s Purse, as Long Island’s boxes joined more than 8 million shoe box gifts collected worldwide from caring families, churches, individuals, businesses, and community groups. On behalf of our community, I would like to thank the local collection sites, volunteers, and everyone who packed a shoebox gift. For many needy children, their shoebox will be the first gift they have ever received.

 Though the Long Island drop-off locations are closed until November 2010, there is still time to pack a shoe box. Gifts are received year-round at Samaritan’s Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C., 28607.  To get involved, go online to www.samaritanspurse.org or call 1-800-353-5949.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in this project. The joy of Christmas goes a long way when it’s packed in a simple shoebox gift!

 Dana Stark

 Northeast Regional Director

 Operation Christmas Child