This month, the Idyllwild area will be among 5,000 U.S. drop-off locations collecting shoebox gifts for children overseas during Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 12 to 19.

Idyllwild families, churches and groups will transform empty shoeboxes into gifts filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items. The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of love to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

This year, Idyllwild-area residents hope to collect more than 6,000 gifts to contribute to the 2018 global goal of reaching 11 million children.

“We are honored to be linking arms with our community to help children around the world experience the true meaning of Christmas,” said Regional Director Nathan Bates. “These simple gifts show God’s love to children facing difficult circumstances.”

The local dropoff site is the Idyllwild Community Presbyterian Church at 54400 North Circle Drive.

Times are 9:30 a.m. to noon Monday, Nov. 12, through Saturday, Nov. 17. Then, noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, and the final drop-off will be 8 to 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 714-432-7030, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.

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