Over 34,000 shoebox gifts donated to kids in need

NOW: Over 34,000 shoebox gifts donated to kids in need

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --  The numbers are in! 

Michiana collected 34,400 shoebox gifts for kids in need, through the Samaritan's Purse Project's Operation Christmas Child. 

This international project allows people to pack shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies, clothing and more.

Churches in Michiana helped pack up the shoeboxes in November, to send to kids in 100 countries. 

"It's a simple message of love and hope that we're trying to bring to people in a tangible form, like a shoebox," says Lucas Zellers, a spokesperson. "It's a gift. It's something that they can hold in their hand." 

The program was a great success in Michiana. 

The collection period ended in mid-November, but there's still a way to help out, just in time for Christmas.

Operation Christmas Child has an online tool that allows people to build a shoebox, from the comfort of their own homes.

All you have to do is log onto their website, and pick out the gifts you want to send. 

"You can select what kind of gifts you would want to drop in the box, and then we pack up the box, in the process center, on your behalf," explains Zellers.

This is an all-year round feature, but for gifts to arrive for Christmas 2017, the cut-off date is mid-December. 

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