RICHLAND, WA - A church in Richland is hoping to make Christmas special this year for thousand of children worldwide.
Bethel Church is partnering with Samaritan's Purse, an organization that delivers relief and aid during disasters, for their global project, Operation Christmas Child.
Last year they were able to bring in more than 12,000 shoeboxes; this year's goal is to fill 13,777. The compact gifts are filled with items ranging from school supplies, to toys and even candy.
"For these kids, this is immeasurable treasure. What you can pack in one of those boxes is beyond belief. Most of these kids have never gotten anything new in their life at all or a wrapped present, so just the box itself brings such excitement they can barely contain themselves," said Tricia Macfarland, the operation coordinator for Operation Christmas Child for Greater Tri-Cities.
As of Wednesday, they've collected around 3,000 shoeboxes.Organizers are collecting shoeboxes until Monday.
The gifts will then be sent to Los Angeles to be processed, eventually making there way to children in the Philippines, Madagascar, Panama, Ukraine and other third world countries.
If you would like to help make a shoebox for a child this Christmas, you can drop them off today through Monday at Bethel Church, located at 600 Shockley Road in Richland, from 10:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m.
There are also relay centers in Kennewick, Pasco, Sunnyside, Walla Walla, Hermiston and Pendleton.
For more information about Operation Christmas Child, or for drop-off locations, click here.