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Area moms gather gifts for Operation Christmas Child

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Operation Christmas Child Operation Christmas Child

Bangor "MOPS" group celebrates season of giving

BANGOR - Moms are forever making sure their children's needs are met and last week a group of moms met in Bangor to also make sure other kids are provided for this holiday season. The Moms of Preschoolers, or MOPS, as they're called, set up a mini-Santa's workshop of sorts at the Bangor First Church of the Nazarene on Union Street on Thursday to pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child. The project, a service of the Samaritan's Purse organization, partners with churches from around the world to provide gift-filled shoeboxes to children in need. 

"It's amazing how a couple of little toys really adds up quickly," said Cara Liberty, coordinator for the MOPS Operation Christmas Child packing party. "It's been really amazing to think something like a matchbox car or tutu can put a smile on the face of a child who is halfway around the world. It's incredible."

This is just the second year the Bangor MOPS group, which now consists of over 30 members, has participated in Operation Christmas Child.

"We started out on a small scale and barely had enough stuff to scrounge up one box last year but this year we're packing seven boxes so it's a great testimony to how big our group has grown," said Liberty. 

She assigned each table of moms with filling up a box for either a boy or a girl between the ages of 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Esther Littlefield had the pleasure of packing a box for a boy between 10-14 years old.

"That's usually the age group that gets the least amount of items but we had more than enough," explained Littlefield. "We were trying to squeeze everything we could in that one box because we wanted to make sure the kid got as much as he could."

Each box which costs $7 to ship was generously paid for by one of the group's members.

"We did a Tupperware fundraiser through our co-director Amy Lane and her daughter. They raised enough for us to send seven boxes so we're not pulling anything out of our MOPS fund or any of the pockets of our moms," explained Liberty.

The Bangor group plans to follow their Operation Christmas Child gift boxes online this year to see exactly where they end up.

"We can track them online and see where each box is going and who specifically is getting the box, which is so exciting," said Liberty. 

For more on Operation Christmas Child, log on to www.operationchristmaschild.org. For more information on MOPS, log on to www.mops.org.

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