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Volunteers helped load 60,000 boxes of gifts to bring to refugees worldwide

Those include those displaced by the ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria

Samaritan's Purse is a Christian organization headed up by the son of Billy Graham

Baltimore CNN —  

As ISIS continues its campaign in both Syria and Iraq, a group called Samaritan’s Purse is hoping shoeboxes filled with gifts might give comfort to refugees of the crisis.

On a sunny but windy day on the tarmac of Baltimore-Washington International Airport, volunteers from the group loaded pallets filled with some 60,000 boxes of gifts onto a 747-jet. Those boxes contain everything from hand-written notes of well-wishes to furry toy ponies. They’ll end up in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq where they will be distributed to children living in refugee camps in both Iraq and Syria as part of “Operation Christmas Child.”

Children from the U.S., U.K. and Canada filled the boxes.

Though exact numbers are hard to come by, the United Nations estimates there are over a million refugees displaced in Syria and Iraq.

President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse Franklin Graham says it’s important to try and help these refugees who have almost no hope otherwise.

“Most of them are children,” Graham said. “About 70% of Syrian refugees are children. And they’ve fled with just the clothes on their back, they have nothing.”

And it’s not just Iraq and Syria where Samaritan’s Purse has focused their attention. Kids in more than 150 countries have received over a hundred million boxes since 1993.

Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian organization headed up by the son of one of the most famous Christian evangelists in the country, Billy Graham.

Sometimes these packages can have more than just short-term effects.

Franklin Graham told the story of then seven-year-old Tyler Wolfe who in the year 2000 sent a Christmas shoebox gift to a child named Joana Marchan in the Philippines. With the power of the internet and a few long plane rides over a decade later, the two eventually connected in-person and married in October.