For countless children living in poverty in war torn nations, or trying to recover from natural disasters, Christmas seems a world away. So a local church in Chico has teamed up with a world-wide organization to make sure millions of these kids have something to celebrate this season.
There's a packing party going on at the Calvary Chapel Church, and the kids involved were getting into the spirit of giving.
"I like to imagine the smiles on the kid's face when they open the box," said Kalynn Parks. "That's the most fun part of packing the boxes."
This is Operation Christmas Child. Since 1993 millions of small boxes full of goodies have been sent around the world, spreading Christmas cheer and a message of faith and hope. It all starts with a simple shoebox, filled with simple things:
Kaiden Haskell says, "Toy Santa, etc."
On this the last day before the boxes are shipped to Southern California for processing they were coming into the church by the hundreds. Including over 200 shoeboxes from the City Light Church in Chico.
"We had a packing party last Wednesday," said Jacky Hagberg. "About 40 people that came."
Others came in carrying shoeboxes they had just filled themselves.
Volunteer Trevor Inso says, "I think everyone should fill a shoebox... It's great to give, especially during the Christmas season and to help other people.
But it means the world to a child on the receiving end.
"It brings smiles to their face, it brings hope to their life and they get to learn about Jesus," said Susan Neher.