Local volunteers with Operation Christmas Child are currently filling shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas

Local volunteers with Operation Christmas Child are currently filling shoe boxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas.

This year-round project is ramping up as local businesses, churches and community groups prepare to collect more than 2,000 gift-filled shoe boxes during National Collection Week (Nov. 12 through Nov. 19).

Anyone can drop off a packed shoe box at one of the Newark-area locations. Then, using whatever means necessary, the shoe box gifts will be hand-delivered to hurting children in 100 countries around the world.

Newark collection sites include Fairville Fire Department, 2963 State Route 88 N. and Ionia United Methodist Church, 2120 Elton Road. For more information, or to view additional local collection sites, visit samaritanspurse.org.