I know it's still summer, and Christmas is still four months away, but it's never too early to think about helping others. One great way to do this is through Samaritan's Purse. Operation Christmas Child (or OCC; samaritanspurse.org) is a great project that St. Mary School and parish have been doing for 13 years. Every year starting in November we fill shoe boxes for either a boy or girl with things that we think they may like. We fill them with toys, toiletries, school supplies, arts 'n' crafts things, coloring books, box cars, hair clips and just about anything that will make the boy or girl smile. The shoe boxes are then shipped to many countries around the world where they are given to needy children. Each shoe box is different, each one is special and unique in its own way, and each has a special person waiting for it. Last year our school and parish filled more than 1,500 boxes. We also write notes to the children. We tell them that we are thinking of them and praying for them. We can even follow our boxes through the website and find out where they end up. This gives us a chance to give instead of receive. If you don't have this in your town, you can find more information at the website. I love it and I hope you do, too.