This month, a site in the Dodge City area will be among 5,000 U.S. drop-off locations collecting shoebox gifts for children overseas during Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19.

Dodge City families, churches and groups are busy transforming empty shoeboxes into fun gifts of hope filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items.

The Samaritan’s Purse project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these tangible expressions of God’s love to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. For many of these children, it will be the first gift they have ever received.

The First Southern Baptist Church is located at 3106 N. 14th Avenue in Dodge City.

Operating hours are:

Monday, Nov. 12, 9 to 11 a.m., 5 to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 9 to 11 a.m., 5 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 9 to 11 a.m., 5 to 7 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 15, 9 to 11 a.m., 5 to 7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 16, 9 to 11 a.m., 5 to 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 19, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 816-622-8316, or visit Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through "Follow Your Box" and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.