National collection week for Operation Christmas Child is Nov. 18 to 25, and will give residents of west-central Pennsylvania the chance to impact the lives of children around the world.

The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child uses gift-filled shoeboxes to show God’s love to children affected by war, poverty, disaster, famine and disease. Shoeboxes are packed for boys and girls in three age groups (2-4, 5-9 and 10-14) and share gifts like clothing, accessories, non-liquid personal hygiene items, school supplies and toys.

The ministry encourages people to include a “wow” item like a deflated soccer ball with a pump, baby doll, toy truck, musical instruments and stuffed animals. Individuals may also include personal notes of encouragement and photographs.

Samaritan’s Purse requests a $9 donation to ship and process each shoebox.

Shoeboxes should not include used or damaged items; war-related toys; candy or other food items; aerosols; toothpaste, lotions or liquids; medicine or vitamins; sharp objects; and fragile items.

To learn how to pack a shoebox, view other gift suggestions, get a “Follow Your Box” label and find the nearest drop-off location, log on to samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Shoeboxes are collected at local drop-off locations, then delivered to eight processing centers. Operation Christmas Child collected more than 8.8 million shoeboxes in the United States in 2018. Combined with others collected in partnering countries, it sent more than 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 100 countries last year.

This year,, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 11 million children.

Locally, drop-off locations and dates are as follows:

Summit Church

2707 West Pike, Indiana

• Nov. 18: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Nov. 19: 4-6:30 p.m.

• Nov. 20: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Nov. 21: 4-6:30 p.m.

• Nov. 22: 3-5 p.m.

• Nov. 23: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

• Nov. 24: 2-4 p.m.

• Nov. 25: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Purchase Line United Methodist Church

17107 Route 286, Commodore

• Nov. 18: 4-6 p.m.

• Nov. 19: 4-6 p.m.

• Nov. 20: 4-6 p.m.

• Nov. 21: 4-6 p.m.

• Nov. 22: 4-6 p.m.

• Nov. 23: 9 a.m.-noon

• Nov. 24: 2-4 p.m.

• Nov. 25: 7:30-9:30 a.m.