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After sharing the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said "Go and do likewise." That is the mission of Samaritan's Purse with Operation Christmas Child—to follow the example of Christ by helping those in need and proclaiming the hope of the Gospel.
The Amazing Journey of a Shoebox Gift Begins with You and Results in Evangelism, Discipleship, and Multiplication.
We want boys and girls around the world to know that God loves them and has not forgotten them during this time of fear and uncertainty. Children need great joy now more than ever. Most of all, they need the hope found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you partner with us to share that glorious hope with boys and girls around the world—many of whom have never heard the Name of Jesus?
We're looking forward to a great Operation Christmas Child season. Will you prayerfully consider picking up your Operation Christmas Child shoebox and packing it to bring hope and joy to children around the world?
How To Pack A Shoebox
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Operation Christmas Child?Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international relief organization. Our 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. We ship these simple gifts 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.
- Who started Operation Christmas Child?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 us 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 168 million children in more than 100 countries.
- What happens after my shoebox gift is delivered?Our local ministry partners distribute your shoeboxes to children in their communities. After receiving shoebox gifts, many boys and girls are invited to enroll in The Greatest Journey, our 12-lesson discipleship program. Through the program, our local ministry partners are able to establish long-term, caring relationships with children and families by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.
- Are gifts delivered by Christmas?The shoebox gifts are shipped out from our processing centers by the middle of December, and depending on the distance they must travel, some are delivered by Christmas—primarily those in Central/South America and Eastern Europe. Most of the gifts are sent via ship. Although the collection of Operation Christmas Child gifts is during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, the delivery of some gifts is sometimes delayed due to international shipping. They may not clear customs in receiving countries until spring. In addition, many countries that receive the gifts must transport the gifts to rural areas using very poor roads. Distributions typically occur from late December through spring each year, extending the joy of Christmas to children that receive them!