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Operation Christmas Child encourages volunteers for this year's Christmas shoe boxes

The shoebox presents are sent out around the world
Posted at 11:24 PM, Oct 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 00:24:29-04

OMAHA, Neb. — A shoe box has one primary use, but one local church is using it as a way to help kids all around the world this Christmas.

The project Operation Christmas Child is an international effort put on by the organization Samaritan's Purse. Shoe boxes are filled with gifts and sent out to children all over. Here in Omaha, local church leaders met up Sunday to begin discussing and organizing this year's boxes. Volunteers hope to spread the message of donating and providing gift-filled shoe boxes to everyone.

Last year around 17,000 shoe boxes were collected and sent worldwide from the Omaha area. This year the organization hopes to raise that goal. Ukraine native Vladimir Prokhnevskiy is a former recipient of a shoe box. On Sunday he told us just how much that meant to him.

"Time stopped for a moment, we were all opening our boxes and you know my sister had a Barbie and no one in my neighborhood had a Barbie. For a moment we were able to forget all of our struggles and just be kids. And that's what it's all about," Prokhnevskiy said.

National collection week for the boxes is November 18 until November 25 but preparation starts now. Throughout the years boxes have been sent out to children in over 160 countries around the world.

This project relies on volunteers and donations. If you'd like to get involved, visit the organization's website.