As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Sisters families are expressing their gratitude by giving back. Residents are filling shoeboxes with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items to send to children in need around the world. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

During Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, November 18 – 25, local residents will collect shoebox gifts at drop-off locations in the area. The Samaritan’s Purse project, partnering with churches worldwide, will deliver these gifts to children in need. Area volunteers hope to collect more than 6,998 gifts during the week.

“It’s amazing to see the local community rally together for a global impact,” said Regional Director Nathan Jansen. “We see all ages getting involved — and more and more every year.”

Sisters residents are not alone in their effort to help children around the world. More than 150,000 U.S. volunteers including families, churches and other groups are joining forces to contribute to the largest Christmas project of its kind. In 2019, Samaritan’s Purse hopes to collect enough Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to reach 11 million children, with 6,998 coming from the local area.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 253-572-1155, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. Participants can 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 samaritanspurse.org/buildonline 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.