. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Local volunteers will begin collecting Operation Christmas Child boxes this week for distribution to children overseas.

Artesia families, churches and groups are busy transforming empty shoeboxes into fun gifts filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of love to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

This year, Artesia-area residents are hoping to collect more than 6,400 gifts to contribute to the goal of reaching 11 million children.

“We are honored to be linking arms with our community to help children around the world experience the true meaning of Christmas,” said regional director Paul Fischbach. “These simple gifts show God’s love to children facing difficult circumstances.”

Artesia’s drop-off point will be Faith Baptist Church, 401 S. 20th St. Boxes may be dropped off at the following times:

• 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Nov. 12-16
• 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
• 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18

Anyone needing boxes to fill with gifts may contact Penny Youtsey at 748-5030.