FREDERICKTOWN, MO (KFVS) - For many children here at home and around the globe, there won't be anything to unwrap on Christmas.
One organization is working to change that, one shoe box at a time.
Organizers say one shoe box will bring more joy that you can imagine.
This is go time for Operation Christmas Child. The organization collected 19,861 shoe boxes in southeast Missouri.
The boxes will ship out all over the world.
They are all carefully marked for girls and boys of all ages.
Putting a box together might cost you $15 or $20.
Those behind this international charity say to those on the receiving end, it's priceless.
"Many of the children have never been given a gift before in their life," said Gene Wilfong-Area Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child.
The organization began the early 1990s.
The Samaritan's Purse ministry started out with 25,000 shoe boxes.
The goal this year is nine million shoe boxes.
"You think about the millions of children around the world, this is a way to meet that need and those children have love and hope expressed toward them," said Sharon Settle-Volunteer.
This year there are 12 relay centers across southeast Missouri.
In Fredericktown they are getting close to their goal.
Volunteers consider this work, serious business.
"Every single box is important, every last one," said Sharon Settle. "It means one more child gets a gift of love and hope that we want to share with them."
This year the shoe boxes will go to 10 countries. Children will benefit from the charity in Albania, Brazil, Kenya, Columbia, Suriname, Haiti, Togo, Niger, Uganda, and Rwanda.
Organizers say if you can't get to the store you can put together a box online, and even track that box until it reaches its destination.
"These shoe boxes are not just boxes, they are hope is that is packaged for children," said Gene Wilfong.
Gene Wilfong would like to thank all of the volunteers across Southeast Missouri, and those who have already contributed to this effort.
The boxes will be shipped out on Nov 19.
The boxes will go from Millersville, Missouri to Minneapolis. From there, the boxes will be sent overseas.
To find out more about how to pack a shoe box, and find a relay center near you visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ