WHEELING, W.Va. While most people in the U.S. are preparing for holiday activities, Wheeling volunteers with Operation Christmas Childthe worlds largest Christmas project of its kindare filling shoe box gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas. This year-round project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritans Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is ramping up as local businesses, churches and community groups prepare to collect 4000 gift-filled shoe boxes during National Collection Week (Nov.. 12 19).

Anyone can drop off a packed shoe box at the Wheeling-area collection site (address and hours below). Then, using whatever means necessarytrucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephantsthe shoe box gifts will be hand-delivered to hurting children in 100 countries around the world.

Belmont County collection sites

East Richland Evangelical Friends Church

67885 Friends Church Road

Saint Clairsville, OH 43950

(800) 353-5949

Mon. - Nov. 12: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Tues. - Nov. 13: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Wed - Nov. 14: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Thurs. - Nov. 15: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Fri. - Nov. 16: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Sat - Nov. 17: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sun - Nov. 18: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. Mon.: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Carol Lewis is the collection site coordinator and can also help provide you with interview possibilities. You can reach the volunteer at (740) 695-0971.

Epworth Center

301 N Main Street

PO Box 538

Bethesda, OH 43719

(800) 353-5949

Mon. - Nov. 12: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tues. - Nov. 13: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Wed - Nov. 14: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Thurs. - Nov. 15: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Fri. - Nov. 16: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sat - Nov. 17: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sun - Nov. 18: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Mon.: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Dawn Livingston is the collection site coordinator and can also help provide you with interview possibilities. You can reach the volunteer at (740) 484-4705.

Monroe County collection site:

Woodsfield First United Methodist Church

136 N Main Street

Woodsfield, OH 43793

Mon. - Nov. 12: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tues. - Nov. 13: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Wed - Nov. 14: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Thurs. - Nov. 15: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. Fri. - Nov. 16: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sat - Nov. 17: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sun - Nov. 18: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Mon.: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Suzanne Weber is the collection site coordinator and can also help provide you with interview possibilities. You can reach the volunteer at (740) 472-1592.

Cambridge COLLECTION SITES:

Christ United Methodist Church

2167 North Avenue

Cambridge, OH 43725

(800) 353-5949

Mon - Nov 12: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Tues - Nov 13: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Wed - Nov 14: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Thur - Nov 15: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Fri - Nov 16: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Sat - Nov 17: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sun - Nov 18: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Mon: 8 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Roni Simon is the collection site coordinator and can also help provide you with interview possibilities. You can reach the volunteer at (740) 439-4579.

First Presbyterian Church

532 N Street

Caldwell, OH 43724

(800) 353-5949

Mon - Nov 12: 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Tues - Nov 13: 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Wed - Nov 14: 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Thur - Nov 15: 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Fri - Nov 16: 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. Sat - Nov 17: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sun - Nov 18: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Mon: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Maureen Schultice is the collection site coordinator and can also help provide you with interview possibilities. You can reach the volunteer at (740) 732-4767.

West Virginia collection sites:

Warwood Christian Church

N 17th and Richland Avenue

Wheeling, W.Va. 26003

(800) 353-5949

Mon. - Nov. 12: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. |Tues. - Nov. 13: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. |Wed - Nov. 14: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. |Thurs. - Nov. 15: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. |Fri. - Nov. 16: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. |Sat - Nov. 17: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. |Sun - Nov. 18: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. |Mon. - Nov. 19: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Debbie Miller is the collection site coordinator and can also help provide you with interview possibilities. You can reach the volunteer at (304) 277-8121.

Temple Baptist Church

2300 2nd Street

Moundsville, W.Va. 26041

(800) 353-5949

Mon. - Nov. 12: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Tues. - Nov. 13: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Wed - Nov. 14: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Thurs. - Nov. 15: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Fri. - Nov. 16: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Sat - Nov. 17: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sun - Nov. 18: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. Mon.: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Tammy Jenkins is the collection site coordinator and can also help provide you with interview possibilities. You can reach the volunteer at (304) 843-1296.

Additional local collection sites can be found using the online Zip Code locator at www.samaritanspurse.org.

In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestonecollecting and delivering shoe boxes to more than 100 million children since 1993. During that time, Operation Christmas Child has collected more than 94 million shoe box gifts and hand-delivered them to suffering children in more than 130 countries. This year, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect another 9 million gift-filled shoe boxes. Through the power of a simple gift and the message of hope through Jesus Christ, children learn they are loved and not forgotten. For many children, the shoe box gift will be the first gift they have ever received.

Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology to allow participants to follow their box to the destination country where it will be given to a child in need. To register shoe box gifts and find out the destination country, use the Follow Your Box donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoe boxes is Nov.. 12-19; however, shoe box gifts are collected all year at the Samaritans Purse headquarters in Boone, N.C.