Iowans across the state are already packing Christmas gifts, but the packages they’re preparing aren’t for family or friends. Patti Fellers is a spokesperson for the "Samaritan’s Purse" project.

Fellers says people put simple gifts in a shoebox that include toys, school supplies toiletries, and the shoeboxes are sent to 100 countries around the world. She says they reach children who’re in areas of famine, natural disasters and war.

"It’s just a simple way of saying other people around the world care about them," Fellers says. Fellers says various churches throughout the state are working on the project. She says the churches receive the shoeboxes, fill them up, and then they come to a collection center Des Moines and are sent to Minneapolis. Fellers says they get to people by all different means from camel to canoe.

Fellers says there’s still time to get involved. Fellers says you can look up " Samaritan’s Purse " website or call 800-353-5949. Fellers says seven million shoeboxes were sent out from the U.S. last year.

"This is just an awesome opportunity to share the love of God with children around the world," Fellers says, "this may be the only gift, they not only receive this year, but the only gift they ever receiver in their lives." Fellers says since 1993, the project has delivered more than 54 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy children in some 120 countries.