Editor:

The West Valley team of Operation Christmas Child wishes to thank West Valley residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this holiday season. The generosity of the West Valley enabled us to collect 16,500 shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. 

Through shoeboxes—packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items— West Valley volunteers brought smiles to the faces of children around the world – like Joram pictured here from Uganda where poverty doesn’t stop his smile of joy for a stranger’s gift. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though West Valley drop-off locations are closed until November 2019, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a personalized shoebox gift online atsamaritanspurse.org/buildonline. Participants can also challenge others to pack boxes online with them or use a shoebox gift card to share the opportunity with friends and family. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website or by calling 813-787-8604.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project—many who do so year after year. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten. 

Carolyn Snelling

Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child

West Valley Team - Volunteer Media Member

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