Kids on a Mission for other kids

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:01

    MILFORD - Three local children are involved with efforts to help those with less have a special Christmas this year. Aaron, Katie, and Ethan Barnett are home school kids with a passion to reach out to others. The Barnett children, 13, 10, and 9 years old, are heading up a drive to collect shoeboxes full of toys and personal items to contribute to the national, Operation Christmas Child campaign sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse. Each year Samaritan’s Purse, a non-profit program run by Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, collects millions of shoeboxes and distributes them to children in more than fifty countries around the world. The shoeboxes are filled with books, toys, school supplies, and personal care items. A majority of the children who received one of these special boxes have never received a gift before. Many of the families are not able to celebrate Christmas with gifts of any kind due to poverty in these areas. Aaron, Katie, and Ethan are hoping to collect as many boxes as possible for these children. They have permission from K-Mart of Westfall to set up a table in the vestibule and hand out information about Operation Christmas Child and ask for donations of small items to fill the boxes. On November 12, between 11 am and 4 pm, customers can learn more about the program and buy and contribute small items such as pencils, markers, pads, books, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and small toys and stuffed animals suitable for children between the ages of two and 14 years old. The Barnett children’s goal is to fill about ten boxes and with the help and direction of Life Skills class teacher Sue Pingaro, the children are learning to share their passion for helping other children by praying and networking among friends, family, and local businesses using articles, flyers, posters, phone and email to advertise this project. They are doing the legwork and leaving the outcome to God. Katie says she’s excited about their project because “it’s fun to help people. I’m a Christian and that means sharing kindness.” Aaron wanted to help others too and was nervous at first at taking on such a big project but they know that they can fulfill their vision with the help of the local community. If you are interested in participating in Operation Christmas Child, the Barnett children will be at K-Mart on November 12 ...between 11 and 4 pm. Drop off spots for individuals that wish to pack their own box for the project include Dingmans Ferry Family Chiropractic, Milford Road, Dingmans Ferry; Hazard Communications Systems, Inc., 190 Old Milford Road, Milford; Lords Valley Barber Shop, 1220 Rt. 739 in the Lords Valley Shopping Plaza (just past the entrance to Hemlock Farms); Ray & Charles, Rt. 739, Milford; and Milford Family Eyecare & Optical in the Nikles Office Building, 104 Bennett Ave., Suite 2A-1, Milford. Donation pickups can also be arranged by calling Carol at 570-828-7479.