An annual holiday initiative that helps kids in need is underway again in Estevan.

People across Canada are packing shoeboxes with items for Operation Christmas Child, which ships those boxes to children in 10 other countries.

Operation Christmas Child kicked off Monday and will run until Sunday.

You can choose to pack a shoebox for a boy or a girl, aged 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. The Alliance Church in Estevan is one of nearly 300 dropoff locations in the country.

"You fill it with different items, like school supplies, hygiene items, and then other kinds of 'wow' items, like a toy or different things like that," said Jillian Ursu, the drop-off team lead for Estevan and area. "They go to different countries around the world to bless kids in need who might otherwise not get a gift or anything like that."

The church is open for dropoff from 9-6 Monday to Friday, 11-3 Saturday, and 9-4 on Sunday.

"It can be done by anyone," said Ursu. "I have individuals come in. We have families who do it. We also have some school groups or teams. And then lots of church groups. Really anyone can do it." 

Around 50 boxes had been filled on Monday morning.

Ursu said the shoeboxes will be shipped to Regina at 4 p.m. Sunday, then go to the Calgary Processing Center, before heading to their destinations - El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and - new this year - the Phillippines and Ukraine.