TYLER, Texas — Christmas came early at the Grace Junior High campus.
Hundreds of students filled the gym for an Operation Christmas Child packing party.
The organization collects and delivers shoebox gifts filled with school supplies, hygiene items and toys to children worldwide. The project teams with local churches across the globe to deliver these boxes with a goal of showing God’s love to children in need, according to Samaritan’s Purse.
Grace Community School has organized packing parties for more than 20 years and the campus serves as a designated drop off site.
"These gifts could be the only gifts these kids ever receive and it could be the only item that's ever been theirs alone," said Cheryl McClead who volunteers for the organization.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.
"You don't know where these boxes are going you don't know what the needs are," she said.
There's still time to donate a box. Collection Week begins Monday, Nov. 15 and ends Nov. 22, where the gifts from East Texas will be shipped off to the central location in Dallas before being shipped overseas.
The following are drop-off sites in East Texas:
- Grace Community High School – Tyler
- Faith Community Church – Tyler
- First Baptist Church – Longview
- Calvary Baptist Church – Longview
- One Hope – Athens
- Central Baptist Church – Jacksonville
- Evangelistic Temple – Palestine
- First Baptist Church – Nacogdoches
- Carpenter’s Way Baptist Church – Lufkin
- First United Methodist Church – Quitman
- Grace Baptist Church – Gilmer
- Lakeside Baptist Church – Canton
- First Baptist Church – Kilgore
- Mt. Carmel Baptist Church – Whitehouse
To find even more locations, click here.