Allendale, Mich., -- Packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child has been a tradition for as long as 18-year-old Aubri Carrell can remember.
"Every year I usually do one or two with my family, " explained the Allendale H.S. senior. "All of us kids would pick a kid like the same age as us and the same gender... I couldn't wait to go shopping for my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes."
Carrell decided to get a head start on the tradition this year, on October 30th. For her 18th birthday, she threw a party at Allendale Baptist Church and only asked for items to pack shoeboxes.
"My goal was to get 18 shoeboxes for my 18th birthday, but I ended up getting 70," she told FOX 17 News. "It turned out perfect."
Carrell was even able to raise more than $300 dollars at the party to cover the cost of shipping. The boxes will eventually be sent overseas to various children in need. Since it was created, Operation Christmas Child, has placed boxes in the hands of more than 113 million children in more than 150 countries. The project, which is an outreach of Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse, aims to deliver enough gifts in 2014 to bless another 10 million children.
Carrell couldn't think of a better gift for her birthday.
"A lot of them, the boxes change their lives," she said. "I love giving things to people. I get more joy out of packing these boxes, than I would if someone bought me a car...I just feel so good about myself. I feel good about the world, I feel so happy."
National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child continues through November 24th. To learn more about the organization, or how to pack a shoebox, click here.