This year’s Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal is aiming to deliver 200,000 shoeboxes full of gifts to needy children from Africa to Eastern Europe.
The shoeboxes will be packed individually by Irish families, schools, communities and businesses to help turn what will otherwise be just another day into something special for these children.
People are being asked to wrap a shoebox with Christmas paper, fill it with gifts for a child, attach €4 and bring it to any of the 300 drop off points across the country before November 10th.
Suggestions for what can be put in the shoeboxes include pens, pencils, colouring books, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, a small item of clothing and a surprise or treat.
The Irish, interdenominational Christian development aid charity has also suggested the ever-popular loom bands for this year's boxes.
Speaking at today's launch, TV presenter Diana Bunici said: "Having recently returned from a trip to Swaziland with Team Hope, I witnessed the need and poverty of these children at first hand and I’ve seen what a real difference the shoeboxes can make to their lives.
"Nothing could beat the memory of their massive smiles or their eyes going wide in shock at the sight of so many presents.
"The wonderful thing about the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal is that it’s personal from one child to another or from one family to another.
"For children whose families typically live on less than €1 per day, the gift-filled shoebox from Ireland may be the only present they will receive this Christmas."
Also speaking at the launch, Niall Barry, Team Hope Executive Director said: "Our Christmas Shoebox Appeal helps bring joy, laughter and hope to children living on the margins of society, victims of war, disease or poverty in some of the world’s most underdeveloped countries."
In the receiving country, the Team Hope network of partners delivers the shoebox gifts right into a child’s hands – in hospitals, schools, shelters, churches, orphanages, community centres or family homes.
For more information about the initiave, you can visit the Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal webpage, follow Team Hope on Facebook and on Twitter using the hashtag #teamshoebox.