neville's Dena Duhn heard about Operation Christmas Child on the radio last year, and thought it would be fun to be a part of the effort to provide gifts to needy children in other parts of the world. So, when she called the organization to find out how to get involved this year they suggested that she organize a local drop-off point for area churches and individuals.
   "I didn't realize that there were so many people in Prineville contributing to the effort already," she said. "But I found out that at least five different churches delivered about 200 boxes to the collection site in Bend last year."
   Operation Christmas Child, a program of Samaritan's Purse, is a Christian based program which focuses on helping children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and Christian literature delivered directly to the children where they live.
   This program provides an opportunity for individuals of all ages to be involved in a simple, hands-on missions project that reaches out to suffering children around the world. In 2000, the organization collected over 4.1 million shoe boxes worldwide and distributed them to children in more than 75 countries.
   Duhn says the project is a good way for family, and particularly children, to get involved in the spirit of Christmas and she is excited to be able to provide a collection site for local contributors.
   Although churches provide the bulk of contributions, Duhn says that anyone who would like to contribute may do so, by simply following the three simple steps outlined by the organization (see above).
   Completed gift boxes may be delivered to Duhn's residence at 767 SE Knight Street in Prineville during the week of November 9-16. She will be available for drop-offs from noon to 9 p.m. or special arrangements can be made by calling her at 416-8955.
   Once all of the packages are collected a freight company will pick up the load on their way to their next collection site in central Oregon.
   More specific instructions are available by calling Duhn, through many local churches or by visiting the Samaritans Purse website at
   1. Find an empty shoe box. (You can wrap it_lid separately_if you would like, but wrapping is not required.)
   2. Decide whether your gift will be for a boy or girl and choose an age category: (2-4), (5-9), or (10-14). Attach the appropriate BOY/GIRL LABEL on the TOP of your box and mark the correct age category.
   3. Fill your shoe box with a variety of gifts:
   Toys: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, plastic kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yo's, small Etch A Sketchr, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky, etc.
   School supplies: pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, coloring books, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, etc.
   Hygiene items: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, comb, washcloth, etc.
   Other: hard candy, lollipops, mints, gum, sunglasses, flashlights with extra batteries, ball caps, socks, T-shirts, toy jewelry sets, hair clips, watches, small picture books, etc.
   Include $5 for shipping and handling.
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