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Your Letters: You helped children in poverty

I am writing to thank Wadena residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Because of the generosity of donors in Wadena and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, collected more than 8.8 million shoeboxes in 2018. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2018, the ministry is now sending more than 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children suffering from poverty, natural disasters, war, disease and famine.

These simple gifts bring smiles to the faces of children around the world. Packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, these gifts bring joy and are a tangible expression of God's love. 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 drop-off locations serving Wadena shoebox packers are closed until November 2019, anyone can still pack a personalized shoebox gift online at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline. Visit samaritanspurse.org/volunteerwithOCC for information about year-round volunteer opportunities.

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

Dana Williams, Operation Christmas Child

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