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Spreading holiday joy

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Group collects items for children in need
111512 Operation Christmas Child C.jpg
Kitty Fannin and Pat Tippit check shoe boxes before they are packed into cartons. Before being shipped, each box must be secured with a rubber band and have a label attached to indicate whether it is for a boy or a girl.

Operation Christmas Child for 2012 officially began Monday in Ruston. Deborah Gates, coordinator of the annual project, said 203 shoe boxes were collected Monday toward a goal of 1,601 for the local effort.

Temple Baptist Church is the collection center for this part of the state. Shoe boxes collected at Temple are packed in shipping cartons to be taken to Monroe. There they will join similar cartons from other sites in northeast Louisiana and be shipped to a processing center for distribution to needy children around the world.

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