TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Operation Christmas Child has been collecting shoeboxes filled with toys, books and school supplies since September. Everything has been packed up and is headed out to Dallas to be sent to children in need.

Here’s some photos of items donated to Operation Christmas Child:

Volunteers from around East Texas are using their thanksgiving break to help children in need. Neches River area Operation Christmas Child group used Grace Community School as their drop-off location and have received almost 13,896 boxes.

“It’s such a great and inaccessible way for… such a young person to give your time, and it doesn’t take too much effort to pack a box, but it’s so impactful for the children to receive them,” said Daniel King, senior, Grace Community High School.

A drop-off location was set up in Tyler at Grace Community High School. Students at Grace Community High School joined in on the fun, filling shoe boxes with items like toys, school supplies, and toothbrushes.

“It’s just a super cool thing that we are able to teach these kids about something that some of them may never get to hear about,” said Harper Auringer, Junior at Grace Community High School.

Students, parents and volunteers packed finished shoeboxes into big trucks. So far they have collected more than 6,000 boxes. All to help children who may not have had a Christmas otherwise.

“So when they receive one of these boxes, it is life-changing for them. We have heard of amazing stories of these kids keeping these boxes into adulthood and sharing the story behind their boxes and how it changed their life. Every box makes a difference,” said Ame Thompson, volunteer.

Here are photos of kids loading up Operation Christmas Child boxes into trucks:

The loaded boxes will be dropped off at a distribution center in Dallas to be sorted, checked and shipped out to children all over the world.

“I’ve gotten to meet a few people, up in Dallas, whenever we process these in the next step who have actually, they were so impacted by these boxes later in life they came to the states, and now they are working for Operation Christmas Child, it is such an amazing transformation that these boxes can do,” said King.

For those who didn’t get the opportunity to drop off a shoebox, there is still time to build one online here.

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