I am writing to thank Crawford County residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children around the world. Generous Crawford County folks donated over 3,500 gift-filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. This contributed to a total of 42,710 shoebox gifts sent from northwestern Pennsylvania.

These shoeboxes, packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, bring joy to children in need around the world. Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, and it is often the first gift these children have ever received. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 168 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories since 1993.

Shoeboxes from Crawford, Warren and Erie counties were sent to children in Malawi, Togo, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Ukraine. If you printed your shoebox labels from the Follow-Your-Box option on the Samaritan’s Purse website, you can easily find out where your shoebox was sent. Go to samaritanspurse.org/occ and select the “Follow Your Box Look Up Tool." Enter your email address or the bar code number from your label.

It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though Crawford County drop-off locations are closed until Nov. 16-23, 2020, anyone can still be a part of this life-changing project by conveniently packing a personalized shoebox gift online at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline.

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.

PAM NIEDHAMMER

Girard

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