As we inch ever closer to Christmas, there's a program underway here in the Sioux Falls area that's designed to bring the spirit of giving to children all over the world.

That program is called, "Operation Christmas Child" and as KSFY TV reports, it's going on now at multiple locations throughout the Sioux Empire.

Various churches in South Dakota and surrounding states are collecting shoe box gifts filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. The hope is to collect more than 27,000 gifts for kids who could use some extra joy in their lives this holiday season.

The nationwide effort of Operation Christmas Child is to reach the 11 million children around the world that are in need. Area coordinator Wendy Pierson told KSFY, "Many of these children have been devastated by war, disease and natural disasters, and they feel like they've been forgotten, that nobody cares about them, so we want them to know that we love them and that Jesus loves them."

According to KSFY, the national collection period is going on now through Tuesday, (November 19). Here are few of the collection sites close to Sioux Falls:

  • Abiding Savior Free Lutheran Church, 4100 S. Bahnson Avenue, Sioux Falls
  • New Life Reformed Church, 232 16th Street South East, Sioux Center, Iowa
  • Holy Life Tabernacle Church, 241 Mustang Pass, Brookings
  • Bethesda Mennonite Church, 44354 273rd Street, Marion
  • Calvary Baptist Church, 2407 Broadway Avenue, Yankton
  • Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, 120 South West 2nd Street, Madison
  • Sunnybrook Community Church, 5601 Sunnybrook Drive, Sioux City, Iowa
  • First Reformed Church, 512 South Union Street, Rock Rapids, Iowa

It's best to call ahead for available drop off times before taking items to each collection site.

Source: KSFY TV

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