Maryville families are on a mission to make an impact in the lives of children in need. They are donating colorfully-wrapped shoebox gifts to be sent to children around the world — many of whom have never received a gift before and have little to call their own.

Now through Monday, November 20 is the collection time for Operation Christmas Child, when local residents will collect shoebox gifts filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items. The Samaritan’s Purse project will deliver these gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine. The St. Joseph area team volunteers, which the Maryville area is part of, have a goal of collecting more than 9,250 gifts during the week.

Maryville residents are not alone in their effort to help children around the world. The Calvary Chapel Maryville, 24770 Interlude Road, is a collection point with times being 3 to 7 pm, now until Friday, November 17 and 1 to 4 pm, Saturday, November 18 through Sunday, November 19. The final day will be from 8 am to 10 am, Monday, November 20.

“It’s exciting to think of the impact our efforts will have in the life of each child who receives a shoebox,” Regional Director Joe Christian said. “We can’t wait to see how our community will respond this year to share God’s love with children across the globe.”

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call 816.622.8316 or visit Participants can donate $9 per shoebox 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.