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Shoe boxes for over 9 million children across the world starts this week

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Tis the season to give.

A global charity organization's national week of collection will beginning on November 18th in the Chattahoochee Valley area. Operation Christmas Child collected 9 million shoe boxes filled with toys, hygienic items and presents for boys and girls between two to 14 years old.

This year, Operation Christmas Child is looking to collect 9.8 million shoe boxes to give. Between 80 to 130 countries that do not study or know much about bibles and Jesus Christ receive these shoe boxes.

The United States along with 112 countries have participated in Operation Christmas Child since 1993.

"This year marks Operation Christmas Child's 20th year anniversary," Lisa Steger, the area coordinator of Operation Christmas Child in Chattahoochee valley explained. "We are also celebrating the 100th million shoe box we have donated since 1993."

Steger said the Chattahoochee Valley area collected 15,052 shoe boxes in 2012. She says the area's new goal for 2013 is to collect over 16,000 shoe boxes.

"I think we can do it," Steger said. "We are a very giving community, and we have 13 counties in our area participating. We always pray for more so it can help more children learn about Jesus Christ."

Shoe boxes collected from November 18th to November 25th will be mailed immediately to Atlanta's Operation Christmas Child station to send off these gifts to numerous countries across the world. Steger encourages people to donate shoe boxes to any age group and gender, donators want to give to. However, Steger said boys and girls between 10 to 14 year olds receive fewer presents compared to other age groups.

"I think people find it easier to shop for younger children," Steger said. "It might be fun to buy cute items for younger kids. However, older children need shoe boxes as well. I hope people can also remember them when they pack shoe boxes to donate this week."

The list of nine local churches that people in Chattahoochee Valley can visit to donate their shoe boxes can visit the quick link below this story for more information. The green and red shoe boxes from Operation Christmas Child are given to the donators for free when they take their items to one of these churches. The donators can also choose to put their purchased items inside a plastic box, if they prefer.

The website to the Samaritan's Purse organization can also be found below this story. It is the main group that supports Operation Christmas Child worldwide.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.

http://www.wtvm.com/story/23388922/operation-christmas-kicks-off

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/occ