Every year during the holidays Samaritan's Purse, an evangelical Christian humanitarian organization that provides aid to people in need as a key part of Christian missionary work, launches their worldwide project Operation Christmas Child.  This is where local volunteers across the nation encourage their community to donate a shoe box full of small Christmas gifts to give to poor children around the world.

Rory Karnauskas,9, carefully packs Hotwheels and other toys in to the shoe box to be given to a needy child somwhere around the world through Operation Christmas Child. (Photo by Carlos Chavez/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

All you need is a regular old cardboard or plastic shoe box.  There's no limit to how many you do, but they do need to be age and gender specific. This way your shoe box gift can go to a child that can use or play with the items or toys inside.  Pack your shoe box gift for a girl or boy or both.  The age groups are 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14.  Fill them with everything from hair bows, school supplies, toys, color crayons, markers, coloring or activity books, stickers etc.  For more ideas on good gifts to get or the type of gifts NOT to send, click here.

Carlos Dominguez, volunteers stacking boxes filled with Christmas gifts for children in need. Operation Christmas Child will send 10 million shoeboxes, filled with items for children overseas, for Christmas. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Once your shoe box is full, wrap it up in your favorite Christmas paper and bring it to a drop-off location near you during National Drop-Off Day November 16-23.  That's about it!  If you'd like to track your shoe box and want to know what child/children receive them, just donate $7 online and receive a tracking label. Attach the label to your shoe box, and Samaritan's Purse will track it for you and send you an email about the country where your box will be delivered and much more. 

Volunteers pack shoe boxes full of Christmas gifts for children. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Operation Christmas Child is an international Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham.  Every year they organize a yearly event which provides a shoe box personally filled with small toys, necessity items, school supplies, candy and photographs to be sent to underprivileged children in more than 90 countries.

Rev. Franklin Graham speaks at the Operation for Christmas Child volunteers ceremony, before an airlift of 90,000 boxed gifts go out to needy children across the world. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

If your church, group or organization would like to help, shoe boxes are available. For more information or questions contact the Operation Christmas Child SWLA Area Coordinator, James Groves, at (337) 405-9022 or email him at jwgroves46@gmail.com.

Last year SWLA residents donated more 30,000 shoe box gifts to Operation Christmas Child.  Have a shoe box packing party at your home, church or office and let's double that number this year!