More than 13,000 children across the world will receive what might be their first gift ever, thanks to northern Nevadans. It's all part of an effort led by the international organization known as Samaritan's Purse. 

Toys, school supplies and hygiene necessities are all packed into a simple shoe box, before being sent to needy children around the world.

The project, known as "Operation Christmas Child," is an international effort, but this year, thanks to community members in northern Nevada alone, 13,800 children will receive their own shoe box gift. 

Cindy Streges, the central drop-off site leader for northern Nevada says, "Our boxes will be going to Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines."

Local churches and other organizations accept donations all year before they are packed into those special shoe boxes in November and then shipped overseas, by whatever means necessary. Samaritan's Purse says that includes by hand, by boat and even by camel.  

The goal is to have the gifts arrive just in time for the children to have a very special Christmas. Streges says, "Most of these kids have nothing, and this is the first gift that they have ever gotten in their lives."

As a Christian relief and Evangelism organization, they also look to spread their message. Streges says, "They get the message of the gospel, and that teaches them about Jesus and gives them hope."

Since the project started in 1993, more than 146 million shoe box gifts have been delivered to kids worldwide.

If you'd like to chip in, you can still donate online, in time for the holidays.