With Thanksgiving Day yet in site, it is not quite time to embrace the Christmas holiday — unless you’re one of the thousands in the High Country who combine their thanks with Operation Christmas Child to create the shoebox gifts that are delivered to millions of children worldwide through Samaritan’s Purse.

Boone is among the more than 5,000 U.S. collection sites for the international effort to deliver 11 million shoebox gifts to children this year, and as a reminder, Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week is almost upon us — Nov. 18-25.

That means you still have time to fill empty shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items before the national collection week ends.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 168 million shoebox gifts — with the mission of demonstrating and sharing God’s love — to children in more than 160 countries.

Reaching so many children in areas affected by war, poverty, disease, famine and natural disaster in so short a time doesn’t happen without a global effort.

So far, High Country residents are on target to deliver more than 26,000 shoebox gifts this year. For more information about packing a gift, making a donation or finding a collection site near you, visit the Operation Christmas Child website at samaritanspurse.org/occ.

If you have the means and desire, think about it: Joining the international effort means not only a more meaningful holiday for you, but for a child desperately in need of thanksgiving.

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