This month, the Redwood Falls area will be among 5,000 U.S. drop-off locations collecting shoebox gifts for children overseas during Operation Christmas Child's National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19.

Redwood Falls families, churches and groups are busy transforming empty shoeboxes into fun gifts filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items.

The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of God’s love to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received. This year, Redwood Falls area residents hope to collect more than 2,599 gifts to contribute to the 2018 global goal of reaching 11 million children.

“We are honored to be linking arms with our community to help children around the world experience the true meaning of Christmas,” said Regional Director Gia Garey Moser. “These simple gifts show God’s love to children facing difficult circumstances.”

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, which is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, has collected and delivered more than 157 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

The drop-off site in Redwood Falls is at the Evangelical Free Church of Redwood Falls.

What follows is the schedule:

• Nov. 12: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Nov. 13: 1-4 p.m.

• Nov. 14: 9-11 a.m.

• Nov. 15: 4-7 p.m.

• Nov. 16: 3-6 p.m.

• Nov. 17: 9 a.m.- 12 p.m.

• Nov. 18: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Nov. 19: 8-11 a.m.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (612) 359-7025, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Participants may donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination.

Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse online to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, which is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Photo Courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse