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Oakdale-Based Team Returns From Christmas Child Duty
Members of the local Operation Christmas Child team assisting at the processing center in Irvine included, from left, Bob Skillman, Sabrina Richardson, Sheila Cordray, Liam Greenlee, Jean Skillman, Kyle Richardson, and Elizabeth Greenlee. Photo Contributed

After spending a few days at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center in Irvine, in Southern California, a local team has returned safely. But, said leader Elizabeth Greenlee, they hope to have the chance to do it again.

“We had six people on our team Friday and seven on Saturday. It was so much fun and we would all go back again next year,” explained Greenlee.

She traveled to the Irvine location with her son Liam, and they joined others there to help prepare packages for delivery to children in need across the county and around the world.

“At the processing center we had five jobs we divided amongst each other,” Greenlee said.

Among them were the pre-inspector, who removed the rubber bands from around the shoeboxes, looked inside for the shipping money and placed it in the money bin, and made sure the shoebox had a label.

The inspectors then made sure there weren’t any inappropriate items in the shoeboxes, while the ‘taper’ was the next job in the process and was responsible for taping up the shoebox, sealing it with the provided Samaritan’s Purse packing tape.

Also included in the assembly-line style work was a ‘scanner,’ who scanned the shoeboxes for the bar code to keep of the country it was going to, allowing the program to send a message to the shoebox donor about where their gift box was sent.

“Lastly the shoebox goes into a gender/age appropriate carton and then is sealed and ready to be shipped off,” Greenlee said of the final ‘packer’ job on the assembly line.

It was a hectic time, she said, but the work with the team went by quickly and all were pleased to be a part of the effort to help deliver happiness in time for the holidays.