Families, churches and community groups from the greater Los Angeles area will join forces on Nov. 16 to Nov. 23 to pack gifts for children around the world living in extreme poverty or affected by war, disease and natural disaster.

Thousands of community members are expected to fill 12,500 shoeboxes with gifts, including toys, school supplies, hygiene items and notes of encouragement. The gifts will be shipped overseas for children in need.

This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach more than 11 million children. Since 1993, the project has delivered shoebox gifts to more than 124 million children in over 150 countries and territories.  

Participants are invited to fill a shoebox with toys for drop-off at one of the seven collection points in Los Angeles. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, please call (818) 297-7132 or visit samaritanspurse.org.

Samaritan’s Purse is an organizer for the event.