65K shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies head to Iraq

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Tens of thousands of shoeboxes filled with gifts will be airlifted and sent to Iraq Friday.

Samaritan's Purse is behind this effort to bring some joy to Syrian refugee children now living there.

Channel 9 reporter Stephanie Coueignoux was at Charlotte-Douglas Airport where volunteers are loading the plane.

Workers loaded pallet after pallet onto a 747. There are 65,000 shoeboxes in all.

The president of Samaritan's Purse, Franklin Graham, delivered powerful words to the crowd of volunteers.

Coueignoux spoke with Graham who said they are still waiting on paperwork to be signed in Iraq before they are able to deliver the gifts, but he isn't expecting any delays.

"This is the first time we'll actually be able to take shoeboxes to children in these refugee camps and Iraq, but we've been buying shoes, blankets, stoves and doing this for several months," Graham said.

Each shoebox is filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene products.

Volunteers expect to deliver them Saturday to the children.

Coueignoux asked Graham about the health of his father, the Rev. Billy Graham.

He said that his father is "only OK."

Since his last hospital stay, Graham hasn't recovered his strength.

He is at home and comfortable, but Franklin Graham said the family is concerned.

For complete coverage on the Rev. Billy Graham, click here.