October 8, 2009 at 7:35 a.m.

Let's make this year's shoebox gift distribution the best-so-far

Let's make this year's shoebox gift distribution the best-so-far
Let's make this year's shoebox gift distribution the best-so-far

Over the summer our readers were introduced to Luba Ferguson, a Chisago Lakes high school student, who spoke of living as an orphan in Russia and the thrill of receiving "shoebox" gifts through the Operation Christmas Child program. Luba and her sister Anna have made a point to tell the community about Operation Christmas Child and the positive impact the program had on their young lives.

Luba Ferguson's place of employment, Parmly LifePointes, is helping to make this year's shoebox gift collection the best ever. You can either donate gift items able to fit into a shoebox, or send cash. The drop-off is at the front doors of either the nursing home residence or at LifePointes wellness center, both in Chisago City. Checks can be made out to the Parmly Resident Council or to Samaritan's Purse (if you don't mind getting on the program's mailing list.)

Residents of the Parmly campus will use your donated items to put gift boxes together for shipment. The tenants in the senior citizens' community have 100 shoeboxes as a goal to fill and wrap.

You have until October 23.

Items can be anything appropriate for a youngster age 2 to 14.

The gifts have to fit in a box the size and shape of a shoebox, so keep this in mind. Also, no liquid materials, like shampoo or lotions are being accepted. Parmly also welcomes donations of durable, plastic shoebox-sized containers, which recipients can re-use once distributed. Otherwise the gifts are packaged in regular shoeboxes.

Luba Ferguson said when she was in the orphanage she recalls that personal toiletries were especially enjoyed; items like small personal soaps, toothpaste and brush, washcloth...also small-sized sports equipment, small stuffed toys, ballcaps, hair ribbons are all examples of good gifts. Crayons and coloring books are great. The gift boxes go to various nations and recipients may not understand English, so books with text are not very useful.

All items are screened for age appropriateness, and the shoebox sized containers are filled and wrapped at a warehouse site for bulk shipment, so do not wrap your donated box or loose items.

Monetary donations assist in shipping. It costs about $7 for each container, according to Colleen Guilfoile the events and volunteer coordinator at Parmly.


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