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Lending a Helping Hand Internationally

Many lend a hand to reach out to kids all over the world for Christmas.
People right here in Amarillo are sending some international love this holiday season.

Children in 135 countires will have presents to unwrap on Christmas morning, thanks in part to the High Plains.

Network coordinator for Amarillo Operation Christmas Child Karen Copeland says It's nice for the kids to get gifts, but it's even nicer to show them that people care.

Copeland says, "we do that by filling shoeboxes with gifts, toiletreies,  with school supplies, with toys, hard candy,  just things they've never had."

The goal this year is 15,000 boxes.

On November 23, the count was about 8,000.

Copeland says the local community embraces the 2 decade old program each year.

"We had a church come in this morning that brought in 500 boxes, groups from the schools, wt, civic organizations, churches all over the panhandle, individuals.  There's one lady in our church who by herself packs 50 boxes every  year," she says.

Samartian's Purse is the organization behind it all.

Around Christmas, the organization takes groups of people around the world to distribute the gifts.

Copeland says the simple way to bring international holiday joy to youngsters all over the world, is what keeps our community lending a hand.

"They just get so excited thinking about what these children look like and their faces when they open these gifts because most of them have never received a present in their life."

You still have November 24 and 25 to head over to Saint Stephen Church on Western.

Last year more than 13,500 boxes were donated.

Copeland says a majority of the gifts went to children in Mexico.

Operation Christmas Child gives gifts to 9.8 million kids each year.

For more information and ways to donate, head over to samartinspurse.org

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