Operation Christmas Child is gearing up for another holiday gift drive.
The international project collects millions of shoeboxes filled with toys, books, school supplies and hygiene items for children in 100 countries.
In Rockland, the collection site is Grace Baptist Church at 20 Demarest Ave. in Nanuet, as it has been for the past 18 years.
Volunteers will collect the shoeboxes 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Nov. 18 to 22, said Peg Beukema, a Nyack resident who brought Operation Christmas Child to Rockland in 1994.
In recent years, residents have donated some 6,000 stuffed shoeboxes.
The most common donations include toys, stuffed animals, crayons, pencils, candy, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and other hygiene items, for children, ages 2 to 15.
Toy guns and items containing liquid or chocolate are not encouraged.
The boxes and lids should be wrapped to allow them to be opened so a Christmas story in the child’s native language can be inserted.
The items are eventually trucked to North Carolina for distribution by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organization.
For more information, call Peg Beukema at 845-623-3897.
Photo: Peg Beukema in 2011 (Ricky Flores/The Journal News)