East Tennessee workers will collect about 80,000 shoe boxes this week for boys and girls in need as part of Operation Christmas Child.

The shoe boxes are filled with school supplies, hygiene items and toys that workers shipped all over the world and given to needy children.

“They are going to children who are all over the world who have been impoverished through war and disasters,” said Knoxville Collection Center Coordinator Lori Davidson.

Operation Christmas Child is set up at the Knoxville Expo Center this week collecting boxes.

Items often include pens, pencils, paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and stuffed animals.

People can put together boxes and take them to the Expo Center through Monday, or can go online to www.samaritanspurse.org and put together a box online and track it to its final destination.

Operation Christmas Child started in 1993, according to the Samaritan’s Purse’s website.