According to the Samaritan's Purse website, they suggest starting a shoebox with a "wow" item such as a stuff animal, soccer ball with pump or clothing outfit that will capture the child's attention the instant he or she opens the box.
Last year, Samaritan's Purse collected 9.1 million shoeboxes packed with children's gifts for children suffering overseas from poverty, famine, war, disease, natural disasters and famine.
Operation Christmas Child has distributed shoeboxes since 1993 and delivered a total of 146 million shoeboxes all over the world, Huerta said.
This week, a Kelowna church is collecting those gifts as part of Operation Christmas Child.
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Even though most of the boxes are collected around the Thanksgiving holiday, Parker-Moore said Samaritan's Purse is not able to deliver every box around Christmas because they can take several months to ship as well as go through customs.
When asked how many boxes she expects to see around the county, Cleveland replied, "The goal for Cullman County is 10,000". Shoeboxes built online also allow ease of entry through customs, and help ensure Operation Christmas Child's continued presence in places that are hard to reach.
"They know that somebody cares and we like to convey to them that God cares too", said Copeland.
Those interested in donating can pick between three age ranges and cater their shoe box to either a boy or a girl. Also, the gift does not need to be wrapped; but if it is, the lid should be wrapped separately so it can be removed easily for inspection. It will still get to the child this season!
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It will be late winter or early spring before the children receive their Operation Christmas Child box.
Palmer, who is a member of the North Olmsted Friends Church, participated in a packing party over the weekend, where parishioners and volunteers hoped to put together 1,000 boxes. So, they're receiving school supplies and hygiene products.
The Panhandle alone will collect close to 20,000 boxes.
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Klosterbuer doesn't know where this year's collection of boxes will end up.