The generosity of Iowans will be felt by impoverished children in nearly one-hundred nations around the world through “Operation Christmas Child.” People are bringing shoeboxes by the hundreds filled with modest gifts to local churches to be packaged up and sent overseas. Yvonne Stephenson is one of the project’s organizers in Iowa. Stephenson, of First Assembly of God Church in Des Moines, says people are putting things in the boxes like: stuffed animals, combs, hairbows, crayons, kazoos, school supplies and small toys. Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars, dolls, soap, washcloths, toothbrushes, toothpaste are also good ideas for gifts. Stephenson says some things that should -not- be put in the shoeboxes include: liquids, perishable foods and chocolate, which could melt. Also, don’t include sharp objects, plastic guns, soldiers or anything war-related. Stephenson says the boxes will be accepted in most locations through tonight and they’ll be trucked to North Carolina, home of Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical group led by Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham.Last year, more than five-million shoeboxes were collected by the group which were sent to children in 95 countries. Iowans who are interested in taking part can log on to “www.samaritanspurse.org” and enter their zip code to find the nearest dropoff location.
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