Operation Christmas Child delivers gifts to kids in need around the world

As we approach the holiday season a group called "Operation Christmas Child" is preparing to deliver gifts to kids around the world.

FOX 2 photojournalist John Bruzewski shows you that it all starts with a shoe box.

"We collect shoe boxes filled with toys and personal hygiene items and school supplies and we deliver them to children around the world," said Suze Aheimer. "Anyone is able to fill a shoe box it can be for a boy or a girl, different age categories. 

"We ask that you just fill it with love and fill it with simple items. School supplies, it could be a notebook, with crayons, A stuffed animal, personal hygiene items such as a toothbrush. We may take a toothbrush for granted but for a child that's never received a gift, it is a quite extravagant item."

"When my time came I was handed my gift and I opened it up and in there, there was a flashlight," said Kululu Atsiaya, a shoe box recipient from Kenya. "And at night I could light my way it made me feel like a leader. That night I felt in my heart the influence on that box - I don't know who sent it - but that somebody somewhere was loving me.

"I still remember, I unwrapped it very fast and one of the things was a brand new pencil packet," said Justin Thomas, who received a shoe box in southeast Asia. "I was like, that is so cool. That is something that I felt I can own myself. Nobody used it before, it is mine."

Samaritan's Purse International Relief organizes Operation Christmas Child. The National Collection Week is from Nov. 18 to 25.

To learn more and to get involved, CLICK HERE.