Knoxville volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse are collecting donations for Operation Christmas Child. 

People in East Tennessee are filling shoe boxes to send toys, hygiene products and school supplies to children in need around the world.

For many of the children, it will be the first gift they have ever received. Participants can 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. 

During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week November 12-19, volunteers will collect the shoebox gifts at drop-off locations. The Samaritan’s Purse project, partnering with churches worldwide, will deliver these gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. 

The goal this year is to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach 11 million children.

“We believe these simple gifts have the ability to send a tangible message of hope to children facing difficult circumstances,” said Regional Director Todd Edwards. “It is exciting to see the Knoxville community come together to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with millions of boys and girls around the world.”

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love to children in need around the world.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoe boxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

For more information on drop off locations, click here.