Wed, Dec. 10: U.S. Sends Hope to Young Islamic State Group Victims

Samaritan's Purse Airlifts 60,000 Gifts for Children Fleeing Persecution from the Islamic State Group

Tens of thousands of Iraqi and Syrian families have fled for their lives from Islamic State group fighters who brutally attacked their towns and villages. The conflict and violence is traumatizing for many of the people involved, especially the young children. While critical needs of housing and food are being met through refugee camps, the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child wants to ensure that the children who have been impacted know they are loved and not forgotten, despite their current circumstances.

Wednesday, Dec. 10, Samaritan’s Purse will airlift 60,000 gift-filled shoeboxes from Baltimore for special delivery to Kurdish-controlled regions of northern Iraq, where they will work with local partners to deliver the gifts to Iraqi and Syrian children living in refugee camps and surrounding areas. Filled with school supplies, hygiene items and toys, all of the Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts headed to Iraq were packed by families and individuals living in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

WHAT: Airlift of more than 60,000 shoebox gifts to Iraqi and Syrian children who have escaped brutal Islamic State group attacks and are now living in Dohuk and Erbil.                  

WHEN:
 Wed, Dec. 10

WHERE: Baltimore-Washington International Airport
               Midfield Cargo Complex, Building G
               Mathison Way
               BWI Airport, MD 21240

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES:

  • 10 – 10:30 a.m.: Interviews with Franklin Graham, a former shoebox gift recipient and Operation Christmas Child staff directing airlift logistics and operations

  • 10:15 – 10:30 a.m.: Loading Boeing 7474-400 cargo jet with 60,000 shoebox gifts

  • 10:30 a.m.: Franklin Graham to address attendees

On-Site Media Contact: Karen Dye, 404.538.8591

Samaritan's Purse has been actively working in northern Iraq since 2007. As Syrian refugees flooded into Northern Iraq in 2013, Samaritan’s Purse provided them with food, medicine, clothing, bedding and kerosene heaters, among other items. In January 2014, 65,000 Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts were airlifted to Erbil and distributed to young refugees. Most recently, on Oct. 13, Samaritan’s Purse airlifted critical supplies to the region, including winter coats for children, blankets, warm socks, sleeping bags and shelter materials. In addition to the airlift on Dec. 10, another 16,000 shoebox gifts will arrive in Northern Iraq in early 2015.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 113 million shoebox gifts—filled with toys, school supplies, necessity items, photos and notes of encouragement—to children suffering the effects of war, disease, poverty, famine and natural disaster. This year, Operation Christmas Child collected more than 10 million gift-filled shoeboxes.

For more information on Samaritan’s Purse or Operation Christmas Child, call 800.353.5949 or visit samaritanspurse.org

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