The shoe boxes are coming in.

The Operation Christmas Child collection week is right now! The deadline for getting your shoebox, stuffed with things for kids, to a collection point is Monday, November 19.

Greg Reinhardt, one of the spark plugs of the drive, said that in order for the boxes to be sorted and then sent around the world by Samaritan's Purse International Relief, the local drive must end within a few days.

This year, the operation should reach a worldwide milestone of 100 million gift-filled boxes delivered since it started in 1993. The thousands of boxes that were sent from this part of Montana last year allowed Reinhardt to accompany a delivery team to see how the distribution was handled. He came back from that trip energized and ready to send even more boxes than ever from Western Montana.

The boxes can be filled with gifts for a boy or girl, ages 2 to 14. In the box you put school supplies, toiletries, toys, socks, ball camps, sunglasses flashlights (with batteries) and more. Helpful pamphlets are available at Papa Murphy's Pizza and the Bitterroot Christian Book Store in Hamilton. Also include $7 for shipping costs.

The collection point in Hamilton is Cornerstone Bible Church, 280 Fairgrounds Road. In Stevensville, it's the Community Baptist Church at 409 Burk. Reinhardt, on a recent KLYQ Event Show interview, said that the number of churches in the community that have come together to support the drive is phenomenal. He said (with a grin) it is hard to find shoebox-sized containers in area stores.

The absolute deadline is 3 p.m. Monday November 19. Cornerstone Bible Church will be open every day until then for collection.