Meeting tonight on Operation Christmas Child program

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Christmas may seem far away but a special program helping needy children for the holidays is kicking off today.

Those interested can start buying toys, supplies and hygiene items for children in need this Christmas.

Volunteers are kicking off Operation Christmas Child today.

It is a global effort helping needy children around the world get gifts for Christmas; those gifts are packed into shoe boxes and then sent to over 130 countries.

Today's event is an opportunity for the community to learn about the program; there will also be brochures available for individuals and businesses wanting to pitch in.   Also local project leaders will speak about their recent shoebox distribution trip to Panama.

Operation Christmas Child organizers say the goal is to collect over 12,000 shoe boxes in Southern Arizona this year.

If interested in participating or know someone who is, there is a meeting today at Northwest Bible Church, near La Canada and Magee Road, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight.

Anyone wanting to learn more about the program is welcome to attend.

The gift filled shoe boxes will be collected through donation sites set up in November.

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