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Volunteers from the West Denver Area Team are celebrating the record-breaking collection of 13,842 gift-filled shoe boxes that will remind children around the world they are loved and not forgotten.

The Samaritan's Purse project, Operation Christmas Child surpassed last year’s West Denver Area Team donations of shoebox gifts. The West Denver Area Team is now thanking the Wheat Ridge community for their generous contributions already on their way to children in need worldwide.

Although collections have finished for the season, there is still time to pack a shoebox gift online for children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child's specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement. They can also donate $9 per shoebox gift online through "Follow Your Box" and receive a tracking label to discover

its destination.

Another way to share the gift of giving is by purchasing a $25 gift card for a family member or friend so they can join in the excitement of Operation Christmas Child by packing a shoebox online. These shoeboxes – filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys – are delivered to children in some of the hardest-to-reach countries around the world.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call 303-745-9179 or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.