Helping to make Christmas a little brighter

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Pastor Rod Compton was touched when he saw the video of the four South American children who never had shoes before.

The children received their first shoes through Operation Christmas Child, a program that sends Christmas gifts to children from third-world countries.

The congregation of Calvary Baptist Church, where Compton is pastor, is participating in the program for third time this year.

"What we take for granted, the rest of the world thinks is incredible. That's why we do this," Compton said.

The church already has begun collecting donations, and members of other churches have donated in the past, Compton said.

People fill a shoebox with toys, school supplies and hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap.

The church asks donors to include a $5 check to cover shipping costs.

Calvary Baptist teens haul the gift boxes to Denver, check them to make sure no perishable or breakable items have been enclosed and put them on a truck to be shipped to North Carolina, where they are loaded on a plane and flown to their final destinations.

That destination can be almost anywhere, including all of South America, 25 African nations, war- torn nations such as Cambodia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as Nepal, Vietnam, Jordan and the West Bank of the Jordan River.

Tracts explaining how to accept Jesus Christ into one's life are included in the gift boxes.

"It's another way of giving during Christmas and sharing Christ," Compton said.

Many people personalize the gift boxes by including a picture of their families and their home addresses. Operation Christmas Child participants have received letters from the gift recipients, expressing thanks, Compton said.

The church receives a video each year of children who received gifts. The video showed Compton children who were thrilled to have shoe, and another boy who was crying because he was so happy to get a balsa wood airplane.

The church, 1050 Yampa Ave., in Craig, is accepting gift boxes through Nov. 20. Call 824-5222.

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