This holiday season, sites in Cattaraugus County 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.

Local families, churches and groups are busy transforming empty shoeboxes into gift boxes filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items. The Samaritan's Purse project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver those gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

Participants can donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. Those who prefer online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline 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.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (518) 437-0690, or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Local collection sites will be located at:

Machias, Odosagih Bible Conference, 3204 Hazelmere Ave.

  • Nov. 12-18: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Nov. 19: 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Little Valley, Little Valley United Methodist Church, 109 Court St.

  • Nov. 12-17, 19: 10 a.m. to noon
  • Nov. 18: Noon to 2 p.m.