Operation Christmas Child

17 Oct 2015 by Meredith Nicholls, No Comments »

Operation Christmas Child is a program orchestrated by Samaritan’s Purse, a non-profit organization founded in 1970 by Bob Pierce. While Samaritan’s Purse has many programs, the one most commonly heard of is Operation Christmas Child. The goal of Operation Christmas Child is to help children in third-world countries receive presents for Christmas and help children know the love of Jesus during the holidays.. The organization distributes shoeboxes* to churches or other organizations for people to take home and fill up.

Some information about Operation Christmas Child:

  • Since 1993, the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, has collected and delivered more than 124 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories.
  • In 2015, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another
    11 million children.
  • Shoebox gifts are collected in the U.S., Australia, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, and the U.K.
  • More than 500,000 volunteers worldwide, with more than 100,000 of those in the United States, are involved in collecting, shipping, and distributing shoebox gifts.

This program is always welcoming more help, and you could be it! Visit http://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/drop-off-locations/ to find out which drop-off location is nearest to you. Collection week is November 16-23, 2015. Here are some suggested materials to put in the shoeboxes:

Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as toy cars, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.

School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.

Non-liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.

Accessories: T-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.

Crafts: Make your own items such as hair bows, finger puppets, and friendship bracelets.

A Personal Note: 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 be able to write back.

Please 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Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.*


You can pay the $7 shipping fee online or when you turn your box in. The advantage to paying online is that you can print out a barcode label and see where your box goes! Visit http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ to find out all the other information you may need.

Girls in Honduras receive boxes for Christmas.

Image courtesy of Google Images and samaritanspurse.org

*The shoebox size used is the average size (7-1/2″ x 5-1/8″ x 14-3/8″).


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