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Kids receive their gifts.

This month, sites in the Scranton 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. 12-19.

Scranton-area families, churches and groups are busy transforming empty shoeboxes into fun 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 God’s 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, Scranton-area residents hope to collect more than 12,514 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 Bill Rumbaugh, “These simple gifts show God’s love to children facing difficult circumstances.”

One local drop-off location is at the New Covenant Fellowship Church, 32 Columbus Ave. in Hawley. Drop-off times are Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 12-14, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 16, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 17, noon to 3:30 p.m.; Sun, Nov. 18, noon to 2 p.m. and Monday, Nov. 19, 9-11 a.m.

You can also drop off items at First Presbyterian Church, 761 Terrace St. in Honesdale. Drop-off times are 9-11 a.m. on Monday through Saturday, Nov 12-17 and Monday, Nov. 19; and Sun, Nov. 18: 5-7 p.m. .

For additional drop-off locations visit the drop-off locator online.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 410-772-7360, 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 online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and sex, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.