Eau Claire (WQOW) - If you're already in the season of giving, you may want to consider filling up a shoebox this week and donating it to Operation Christmas Child at Peace Church in Eau Claire.
On Monday, Peace Church kicked off its week-long collection event which allows Chippewa Valley residents to give presents to children all over the world, who may otherwise not have a Christmas.
Many of the gift receivers live in impoverished communities in orphanages. Peace Church is one of many drop-off sites in the United States. The gifts are first collected in Eau Claire, then sent to Operation Christmas Child's headquarters in Minneapolis before they are shipped overseas. Gift givers can follow their presents and become notified when the child receives their gift.
Organizers are asking for items like personal hygiene products, small toys and school supplies.
Peace Church is hoping to have their best year yet in donations, with a goal of contributing more than 3,000 gift boxes.
"It's just awesome to see families that aren't even necessarily church going families, just see it's a good cause and they'll think, man if I didn't have a Christmas present, if my kids didn't have a present," said Peace Church Mission Director, Jordan Van Proosdy. "They internalize it and they say I would feel bad, now a child is receiving this gift and they can just feel the love that's coming out of that gift."
Gift givers are able to select what gender they want to purchase items for, and they have all week to drop off their shoeboxes. You can print a gender tag on the Operation Christmas Child's website, or pick up a tag at the donation site.
Van Proosdy said many gift givers like to wrap their presents in fun gift wrapping paper, which is allowed.
Here are a list of drop-off hours for the week: