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Marysville Care Center collects boxes for Operation Christmas Child

MARYSVILLE — Marysville Care Center residents and associates are encouraging community members to take part in the 2009 Operation Christmas Child campaign by filling sturdy shoe boxes, or other similarly sized storage boxes, with Christmas gifts.

The boxes will be distributed to children in war-torn and poverty-stricken countries by Samaritan's Purse, the Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham.

"Operation Christmas Child provides an opportunity for our associates, residents and families to share memories of their favorite holiday experiences," said Stephanie Bonanzino, executive director at the Marysville Care Center. "It is a time for us to give back to those less fortunate and celebrate the true spirit of the holiday season."

Participants can fill their shoe boxes with a mix of small toys, hard candy, school supplies and personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. They are also encouraged to include pictures of themselves, to create personal connections with the children. In addition, Samaritan's Purse asks that participants tape $7 to the inside of the box tops to cover shipping and transportation charges. Information about what to include and not to include, and labels specifying gender and age range, are available at www.samaritanspurse.org.

Community members can drop their filled boxes off at the business office Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., until the facility's final collection day on Nov. 13.

The Marysville Care Center is located at 1821 Grove St. and can be reached at 360-659-3926.

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