boy with shoebox

Start a Family Tradition with Operation Christmas Child

If you haven’t heard of Operation Christmas Child, it is a charity project of Samaritan’s Purse and is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 124 million children in more than 150 countries and territories around the world.


I remember packing shoeboxes when I was young and single in my twenties. It felt so good to be doing something nice for a child in need during the Christmas season. Now, more than twenty years later, my daughters are packing shoeboxes! It has a become a special tradition that they do with their grandma every year. They typically pack 10-20 shoeboxes with her and are always so excited about it. In fact, this weekend they will be visiting their grandma to do just that. They enjoy all the steps–from shopping to sorting to packing. Whether you pack 1 box, 10 boxes or more, this is a great activity to consider doing with your kids this November. It is a great way to get into the giving spirit as we head into December and the Christmas season approaches.

If you are new to Operation Christmas Child, here is some background information:

  • More than 100,000 volunteers in the United States, 500,000 worldwide and tens of thousands of participating churches allow Operation Christmas Child to reach millions of children each year.
  • For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.
  • In 2015, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another
    11 million children.
  • 2014 global collection total was more than 10.4 million
  • 2014 U.S. collection total was some 8 million
  • By working with churches around the world, Operation Christmas Child shares the Good News of God’s love and salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. The shoebox gifts bless the children and provide opportunities to share the true meaning of Christmas.
  • Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Samaritan’s Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution.

girl with shoebox

How does it work?

Anyone can participate! Just pack an empty shoebox with a “WOW” toy item—like a doll or ball—and other fun toys, school supplies and personal hygiene items. Then take it to a drop-off location during National Collection Week, Nov. 16 – 23.

The shoebox can be one that you have around the house or you could purchase a plastic shoebox tub with a lid. These come in very handy for other uses for the children, but any type of shoebox will work! If you choose to wrap your shoebox, wrap the lid and bottom separately.

Decide whether you will pack your box for a boy or girl of the following age ranges: 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14

You can include just about anything in your shoebox, except for the following items: 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 also include an optional $7 donation for shipping and follow your box online to discover its final destination!

The drop-off location for Green Bay is New Hope Presbytarian Church at 2401 Deckner, Ave 54302. The last day for drop-off will be Monday, 11/23 at 4:00 PM.

Get all the details about how to pack a box and more by visiting


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