This holiday season, Lahaina residents are working to brighten the lives of needy children around the world.
Volunteers are currently preparing to assemble 550 gift-filled shoe boxes - West Maui's target contribution to Operation Christmas Child - at Lahaina Baptist Church.
Residents, businesses, churches and community groups are encouraged to fill shoe box gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas, then drop them off at Lahaina Baptist Church from Nov. 12-19.
Using whatever means necessary - trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephants - the shoe box gifts will be hand-delivered to needy keiki in 100 countries around the world.
The largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child is a year-round project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization.
According to Samaritan's Purse, for many children, the shoe box will be the first gift they have ever received.
In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone: collecting and delivering gifts to more than 100 million children since 1993.
Located at 209 Shaw St., Lahaina Baptist Church will collect the boxes next week Monday from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday and Monday from 9 a.m. to noon. For information, call 661-3725.
There are also needy children here in West Maui and around the county. Please send news on your efforts to help people this holiday season; we will be glad to announce them in the Lahaina News. Call 667-7866 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.