KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Operation Christmas Child's National Collection week will run until Nov. 25 and the project has a goal of reaching 11 million children.

To help with reaching this goal, volunteers in Knoxville have set a goal of more than 46,900 shoeboxes full of school supplies, toys and hygiene products. 

Various collection sites will be set up throughout the week, including at Knoxville Expo Center and a number of churches.

To find the collection site closest to you, click here.

When it comes to packing your shoebox, here's what the Samaritan's Purse website says,

"Start with a quality “wow” item such as a stuffed animal, soccer ball with pump, or clothing outfit that will capture the child’s attention the instant he or she opens the box. See our gift suggestions according to age and gender listed below for other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies to fill the shoebox."

You can find a list of what not to pack, and other frequently asked questions, here.

How to pack a shoebox

According to the Samaritan's Purse website, here are the steps to take:

  1. Find a shoebox
    • "Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately."
  2. Girl or boy?
    • "Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, and the age category: 2–4, 5–9, or 10–14."
  3. Fill with gifts
    • "Select a medium to large 'wow' item such as a soccer ball with pump or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies."
  4. Pray
    • "Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. You can also include a personal note and photo."
  5. Follow your box labels
    • "Donate $9 online and receive a tracking label to Follow Your Box and discover the destination of your shoebox gift."
  6. Drop-off
    • "Take your shoebox gift to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week, Nov. 18 to Nov. 25, 2019."

If you are not able to pack a physical shoebox, you can always make an online donation or build your shoebox online.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas child, visit samaritanspurse.org.

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