Christmas is a time of giving

Christmas is the time of year when we celebrate and remember the gift of Jesus to a world that desperately needs a savior.  His birth, ministry, death and resurrection are what gives us the eternal hope that moves us to serve our Lord and the teachings that defines what it means to “love our neighbor.”

What is Operation Christmas Child?

Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. Their mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. These simple gifts are shipped outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine, and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the U.S.

The program was started in the United Kingdom in 1990 by Dave and Jill Cooke. Three years after this beginning, the Wales-based shoebox gift project merged in a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, allowing them to share 20 years of expertise in relief and aid work with the project, and expand the reach of the shoebox gifts to more than 28,000 children that year. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 146 million children in more than 100 countries.

Learn more about Operation Christmas Child
Video Contest
How do I pack and prepare a shoebox?

What is the purpose of the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes?

The shoebox gifts are a way to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

When a shoebox is delivered, Samaritan’s Purse local ministry partners will distribute your the boxes to children in their communities. After receiving shoebox gifts, many boys and girls are invited to enroll in ‘The Greatest Journey.

While it is our goal to share the Gospel with each and every child who receives a shoebox, boys and girls don’t have to do or say anything to receive their gifts.

What is ‘The Greatest Journey?’

The Greatest Journey is a discipleship experience offered by local churches to many of the children who receive shoebox gifts. The 12-lesson program introduces boys and girls to salvation through faith in Christ and encourages them to grow as faithful followers. This connects children to local churches who can, through discipling relationships, teach and nurture the children in faith.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

(Matthew 28:19-20)

How do I pack and prepare my shoebox?

The Operation Christmas Child website offers some great tips and suggestions on what to pack in each box.

That said, it is important that you:

  1. Maximize space in your box (remove toys from the packaging).
  2. Refrain from giving toys that are “war-related” such as guns, knives or military figures.
  3. Avoid liquids or anything that can spill, burst, melt or break during shipping.
  4. Avoid anything that can be eaten or mistaken as food (play-dough, chocolate, candies, fruit rolls, silly putty, etc.).
  5. Purchase items with some “lasting power.” Most children will only get one Operation Christmas Child shoebox in their lifetime and it’s possible that the washcloths or soccer balls that you provide will not be replaced for a very long time.

How are the boxes shipped? Can I track where it goes?

We will ship your boxes for you, but you must return the boxes to the church by our deadline to make shipment.

All filled shoeboxes MUST be dropped off at the church no later than Sunday, November 11. We will inspect and prepare them for shipping on Monday morning and then we will send them to the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters where they will be distributed worldwide.

The cost to ship each box is $9. We ask that you please include payment (cash or check made out to ‘Samaritan’s Purse’ with a note in the memo line ‘Operation Christmas Child’) inside each box when you drop them off to church.

If you would like to follow your box and discover its destination you may do so through the Operation Christmas Child website. The cost is $9/box and you MUST print each label and tape it on the outside of each box.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our OCC Video Contest!

Video Contest 2018

To raise awareness and encourage participation in Operation Christmas Child, we are asking all amateur videographers (Elementary, Middle School and High School students) to create and submit a home-made video promoting Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing to the church by Sunday, October 21.

You have the freedom to write the script and shoot and/or edit the video however you see fit, however, there are some rules that you must follow to qualify.


  • Only children and/or youth (Elementary, Middle and High School students) may participate. Parents may assist with filming, but we want this to be a child/youth-led and inspired submission.
  • Only one entry per person.
  • If you use a cell phone to record your video, you must shoot horizontally.
  • Video length is important — the video must be no longer than one minute.

You don’t have to use the exact wording below, but both points are very important and must be mentioned (verbally or written) in the video:

  • Shoeboxes cost $9/box to ship. This cost includes a Gospel booklet in the child’s native language that will equip teachers to present God’s word to that child.
  • Quality items over quantity. Each child will likely receive only one box in their lifetime so we want to send items that will last.

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Thank you for participating in our first ever video contest for promoting Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing. If you were unable to make a video this year, no worries! We plan on having the contest again next year!!

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