Time to get started on Operation Christmas Child

Sue Kraft, Lifestyles Editor
Labels such as the ones above will be attached to each shoe box that is donated to Operation Christmas Child. The labels will be available at the Journal office, which will continue to serve as the local drop-off point.

There are only 118 shopping days until Christmas, which means those planning to pack a gift for Operation Christmas Child may want to get started.

Operation Christmas Child is a program that delivers shoe boxes filled with gifts to orphans and needy children around the world. Last year more than 260 North Dakota churches and organizations packed 15,232 shoe boxes. There were 333 boxes donated from Ramsey County.

The boxes were sent to Minneapolis and then flown via the Air Force to needy children in Abkhazia, Beliza, Cameroon, Kenya, Mauritus, Mongolia, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, St. Vincent and Trinidad.

Lloyd Omdahl, who has been the local OCC Correspondent for more than 10 years, said this is a good project for church groups, high school clubs and other organizations — and it is a great way to get in the Christmas spirit.

“We have so much and they have so little,” he said.

The Devils Lake Journal will once again serve as the drop-off point for the donations. Pre-printed shoe boxes will become available in the near future, but ordinary shoe boxes wrapped in Christmas paper or dollar store plastic shoe boxes may also be used.

But, Omdahl said, they must be standard shoe boxes, boot-size boxes will not be accepted.

The boxes should be filled with children's toys, such as small cars, stuffed animals, dolls, yo-yos, jump ropes, etc., school supplies and toiletries, such as toothbrush and toothpaste. Hard candy and gum may also be included in the box.

Other suggested items include ball caps, socks, t-shirts, flashlights, hair clips, flashlights and toy jewelry.

Used or damaged items are unacceptable, as are breakable items, medications and vitamins. Other prohibited items are: Chocolate and other food, liquids and lotions, out-of-date candy and war-related items, like toy guns, knives or military figures.

Once the shoe boxes are filled, they should be dropped off at the Devils Lake Journal office, where labels will be provided. The labels indicate if the gift is for a boy or girl and what age category it is intended for.

The boxes must be turned in by Friday, Nov. 13.