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Grand Rapids girls pack shoeboxes full of gifts

Girls at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church are filling shoeboxes with clothes, health products and toys to make the holidays happier for children in Mexico.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — This holiday season girls from LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids are sending shoeboxes to children in Mexico.

But the boxes won’t necessarily have shoes inside. Members of the Girls Everywhere Meeting their Savior (GEMS) Girls Club at the church are loading the boxes with health and hygiene products, clothing, school supplies and toys. They are sending the gifts to boys and girls between 2 and 14 years old.

“We were shooting for 25 boxes and we are sending out 80 boxes,” says Tina Rooks, club coordinator for the LaGrave GEMS program. “We packed shoes, toothbrushes and soap, but we also have toys. All the kids get a stuffed toy.”

Items packed into the boxes are donated by GEMS Club members and the congregation at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church.

“I think it is just really cool to know you are doing a good thing, especially during Christmas time when some children aren't able to get any gifts,” says 13-year-old GEMS Club member Lauren Kinstle. “It has been really fun to pack the boxes.”

GEMS is a national religious organization based in Grand Rapids.

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