Local volunteers are collecting simple shoebox gifts personally packed by children, families and individuals in the Hays area for children in more than 90 countries hit by natural disaster, war, terrorism, disease, famine and poverty.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse headed by Franklin Graham, has delivered more than 61 million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children in some 130 countries.

The First Presbyterian Church, 2900 Hall, is the collection site in Hays. Gifts will be accepted from 9 a.m. to noon and 3 to 5 p.m. Nov. 17 through 21, and 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call (785) 625-2847 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org.