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Organization gets head start on holiday gift giving

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It’s that time of year again where giving takes center stage. The holiday season is among us and one organization is getting a head start.

“These children literally have nothing,” Coordinator Jennifer Barbee said. “Some of the times— most of the time, they don't even know what Christmas is, let alone a gift."

This week is Operation Christmas Child; a project put on by Christian-based organization, Samaritan’s Purse. It’s an effort to provide 9.8 million impoverished children around the world with a shoebox full of toys, school supplies and hygiene items for the holidays. Grace Baptist Church is the drop-off site for the North Coast.

"Last year we met the national goal of 100 million shoe boxes," Barbee said.

Eureka is one city taking part. The local goal is to collect 2,230 shoe boxes in just one week. Anyone can participate. Just fill a shoebox with some of the allowed items and drop it off at the church.

"It’s fun,” Ashlynn Barbee said. “It's exciting to see all the kids getting the shoe box and liking it a lot."

Ashlynn is Jennifer’s daughter. She’s a 10-years-old who said she’s been helping with the cause her entire life.

"I pack the shoe boxes and then put them in the boxes to ship them off," Ashlynn said.

The boxes are sent to a shipping facility in Santa Ana. They are processed and then distributed to nearly 100 countries.

"It’s special and it's amazing," Ashlynn said.

They’ll be accepting shoe boxes until Monday, November 25 during regular businesses hours.