Reader input: Charity thanks Folsom residents

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We wanted to write to thank all of the residents of Folsom and El Dorado Hills who generously gave of their time and resources to help impact thousands of hurting children this Christmas through Operation Christmas Child.

Together we were able to pack 47,500 shoe boxes — filled with toys, school supplies and basic necessities—8,600 of these being packed at one large packing party. Our region’s shoe box gifts, joined by millions of others, are now on their way to needy children in 100 countries. During the 2012 collection season, Operation Christmas Child reached a milestone — more than 100 million children have been impacted by the power of a simple gift since 1993.

We would also like to thank the volunteers at our local collection sites. Although all 14 of our drop-off locations are closed, there is still plenty of time to get involved through the project’s “Build a Box” online tool where you can virtually pack a shoe box gift. If you want to get involved, you can go online to Gifts are also received year-round at Samaritan’s Purse by mailing them to 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C., 28607.

Operation Christmas Child year-round volunteer opportunities are available. To find out how you can use your gifts and talents to make a difference in children’s lives around the world visit (volunteer application is located on the “Contact” page) or call Ann Olson, Area Coordinator at (916) 783-3838.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this project. A simple gift, packed with love, can communicate hope and transform the lives of children worldwide.

Jodi L. Church, Media Relations Coordinator, Operation Christmas Child, Greater Sacramento Region