Operation Christmas Child is entering its final stages this week.

Volunteers have been busy packaging thousands of shoeboxes with toys, hygiene kits and educational tools to be sent to needy children around the world.

The northwest Pennsylvania operation has a goal of just over 20,000 boxes this year and will be shipping them out at the end of the week.

“We always try to have a ‘wow’ item, something that would get the child excited about what’s inside the box, and also some toys, just fun things. We want it to be fun and full and we’re hoping to bring the child joy through the shoebox,” said Christina Gross, central drop-off coordinator.

If you’re interested in dropping off a shoebox, it’s not too late. Boxes can be taken to the First Alliance Church on Zimmerly Road through the end of the week.