Shoeboxes filled for children

Several churches and Norman residents are helping with Operation Christmas Child, a national program that delivers shoeboxes full of goodies to children all over the world.

The program is an arm of Samaritan Purse, an organization run by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham.

Shoeboxes are filled with goodies, delivered to Bloom Electric in Oklahoma City, shipped to a distribution center in Denver and then shipped all over the world. It costs $7 to ship each box.

The boxes are filled with hygiene materials, school supplies, toys, small articles of clothing such as socks, hard mixed candy and a stuffed toy, "always a stuffed toy," said Rose Ellen Robertson, Norman resident. And if there is time, the shoeboxes will be wrapped.

"When the boxes are handed to the children, they are also handed a booklet in their own language about Jesus and how to accept him," Robertson said. "It is also a way to let them know that people who don't know them, love them and care about them."

Rose Ellen and her husband Jim Robertson started helping Bloom Electric eight or 10 years ago. "It's not about how many boxes we do each year, it's how many children can we reach," she said.

More than 500 boxes were delivered to Bloom Electric Monday by Agape Baptist Church in Blanchard, Rose Ellen said.

"We have been collecting all year," she said. "God richly blessed us and we had more."

So the couple will go to Goldsby Wednesday evening to help the First Baptist Church fill their boxes. Last year, church members filled 100 boxes. They want to double that this year and fill 200.

Anyone wanting to help can grab a shoe box, fill it with the above mentioned items and take it to the First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 211 W. Comanche St., by Monday, Nov. 20.

Police sponsor free identity theft program

A free identity theft program at the Norman Public Library, 225 N. Webster Ave., is planned for 7 p.m. Nov. 21. The workshop is sponsored by the Norman Police Department to help residents protect themselves from identity theft. Detective Gary Schmidt will speak.

The Federal Trade Commission reports that complaints about identity theft accounts for 255,000 of more than 686,000 complaints filed with the agency in 2005. Internet-related complaints accounted for 46 percent of all fraud complaints. Credit card fraud was the most common form of reported identity theft, followed by phone or utilities fraud, bank fraud and employment fraud.

Pre-registration is encouraged for the identity theft program. To register or get more information, call the library at 701-2620 or visit the Pioneer Library System Web site at

-- Transcript Staff

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