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Windward // Windward Oahu Coverstory
Carol Chang

Filled Shoeboxes Heading For Keiki

Shoeboxes are filling up on the Windward side, all in the spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas – for needy children in Hawaii and around the world. Area residents are welcome to assist in the efforts of the two well-known service projects listed below.

* Kaneohe Community Family Center coordinates “Baskets of Blessings” from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday in King Intermediate School cafeteria, where volunteers will help pack and decorate boxes and baskets and make cards for local families in need. Also welcome at the site are monetary donations, nonperishable food, clear shipping tape, wrapping paper and $10 grocery gift cards. For more information, call 235-7747.

* Operation Christmas Child (OCC), sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse International Relief, has inspired dozens of Oahu churches and Windward residents to help out in 2012. This week organizations are stepping up to the plate by filling, wrapping and decorating special gift boxes for this worldwide Christian charity, founded in 2006.

Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay, for example, kicked off its own 2012 campaign earlier with a shoebox wrapping party at the church. And through today (Nov. 14) students at St. John Vianney Parish School will accept gift-filled shoeboxes at the school office. The student council’s message to classmates is that “everyone can help make a difference in someone’s life, not matter how small they are, or how small their gift may be.”

Of the 13 official drop-off sites (open Nov. 12-19 during OCC National Collection Week), four are on the Windward side: Kailua United Methodist Church, Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay, Bay View Golf Park (Wind-ward Church of the Nazarene) and St. George’s Catholic Church in Waimanalo.

According to the local OCC facebook, about 40,000 shoeboxes are expected this year to fill a warehouse processing center in Kapolei. (Hawaii is one of seven U.S. processing centers.) From there, the boxes, along with a Christmas message, will be sent on to victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine across the globe. Last year, Hawaii boxes were given to child victims of human trafficking in Nepal.

Suggested gifts to pack in the boxes are school supplies, hygiene items, small toys, gloves, scarves, sunglasses, caps and hats. Do NOT include used, damaged or war-related items; chocolate, food, liquids or medications. Personal notes also are welcome and encouraged.

For details about OCC, call 561-4994 on Oahu; (714) 432-7030, ext. 1710, or visit samaritanspurse.org.

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