For more than fifteen years, families across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries have had a wonderful opportunity to impact the lives of less fortunate children across the globe. Through the ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization headed up by Franklin Graham, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 46 million shoeboxes filled with toys, personal hygiene items, booklets, school supplies, and other items not readily available locally to many of the recipients. What started out as a relatively small campaign to help homeless children in Romania has expanded into one of the largest relief and evangelical programs of its kind. It isn’t too early to start thinking about how you and your family can participate – Operation Christmas Child is your opportunity to impact young lives as well as demonstrate to your family the real meaning of Christmas: giving.
HOW TO PACK A SHOEBOX:
Shoebox: Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.
Boy or Girl?: Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.
Fill with Gifts: Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child.
Include your Donation: Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our “Follow Your Box Donation” option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.
Drop Off: Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop off at the Collection Center nearest you during our collection week, November 14-21. For locations and hours of collection visit our Drop-Off Locations page where you can find the nearest place to take your shoe box by entering your ZIP Code or you can call 1-800-353-5949.
small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky®, etc.
pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.
Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)
A PERSONAL NOTE
In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)
DO NOT INCLUDE:
Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans