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Christmas Child starts strong

LIHUE — Isaac Vallance, 11, packed on Sunday one of the many Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes collected by the Breath of Life Ministries in the Rice Shopping Center.

“My brother Micah and I each packed one box,” Isaac said. “The children who are going to get them are going to be really happy. When I was packing my shoebox, I kept thinking there are kids who never have the chance to say, ‘Let’s go get something at the store.’”

The shoeboxes packed by the Vallance brothers were among 1,400 shoeboxes collected as part of the Operation Christmas Child project undertaken by Samaritan’s Purse at the Lihue worship center.

“We had the kickoff on Nov. 15,” said Lani Harthcock in an email. “Our goal was 3,500 shoeboxes which will be going to children in Indonesia. The turnout for the kickoff was awesome with a lot of small children and adults packing shoeboxes.”

Harthcock was optimistic they would be close to their goal after collecting more than 1,000 shoeboxes on the launch date.

Tiger-Lily Paresa was disappointed she never got to pack a shoebox.

“I didn’t know about this,” she said as she watched the last of the boxes get prepared for shipment Sunday. “If I had known, I would have helped pack some shoeboxes, too.”

As the hours counted down to the close, Harthcock estimated they would end with about 1,400 shoeboxes, all of which will be sent to Indonesia.

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