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Holiday helpers - The Essex Community United Methodist Church dedicated 186 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child on Sunday, Nov. 24. A ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, shoe boxes are packed with hygiene items, school supplies, small toys and hard candy. These are sent to needy children in the United States as well as many different countries all over the world. Since 2001, over 100 million boxes have been sent. The Essex children and young people had a shoe box packing/pizza party and packed 96 boxes at that time. Organizers said both those who pack and those who receive are blessed beyond measure.

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