Volunteers work to send gifts to needy children

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COLUMBIA- Columbia volunteers are already beginning to feel the spirit of the holidays. Volunteers from around the city came together Friday evening to pack shoe boxes full of supplies for Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child sends the shoe boxes to needy children oversees as part of Samaritan's Purse. Since 1993, the organization has sent shoe boxes to more than 113 million children in more than 100 countries.

Families brought their children to help pack the shoe boxes of toiletries, school supplies and toys. Inside, the children would write a note telling the recipient a little bit about themselves. Area Coordinator Renee Munns said that Operation Christmas Child is an important opportunity for children to learn how to give back. 

"The whole idea of OCC is kids giving gifts to kids," Munns said. 

Munns said one shoe box can go a long way. 

"They say basically that one shoe box will touch up to seven lives for the children that receive it. They'll go home and share the shoe box with their family, and they'll tell them about the message," Munns said. 

Eleven-year-old Carrington Scheller enjoys being able to give back. 

"I like being able to give stuff to people who don't have the opportunity to have toys and stuff," Scheller said. 

10,000 shoe boxes are expected to be collected this year in Columbia. Shoe boxes will be collected Nov. 17-24 during National Collection Week.