On Nov. 16, more than one thousand empty shoeboxes will be transformed into gifts of hope as part of Immanuel Baptist Church of Temple’s packing party aimed to help children in need around the world.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of the international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, will deliver the shoeboxes — all filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items — to children in need.

“It is amazing to be part of a community that understands the power of giving,” project leader Cathy Barth said in a news release. “We are so excited to host a party to prepare shoebox gifts that will send a message of hope and love to children around the world. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.”

The party will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the church, 1401 W. Central Ave., and is open to the public. Anyone is welcome to experience the joy of giving. To RSVP or donate to the event, email ibc@ibctemple.org.

The church hopes to pack 1,000 shoebox gifts this year. In addition to packing boxes, the event will offer snacks, a photo booth and a station to write letters that may be included in the boxes. Supplies needed for this event include small toys, crayons, pencils and pencil sharpeners, along with a $9 shipping fee for each shoebox gift each person packs.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call area coordinator Cathy Scribner at 254-624-0926, email cscribner67@ gmail.com or visit samaritanspurse.org/occ. 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 samaritanspurse.org/buildonline 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.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the good news of Jesus. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 168 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.