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Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes

The Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes from Samaritan's Purse brings joy to kids in desperate situations around the world each holiday season. The program is an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple, hands-on mission project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. Each donated Operation Christmas Child shoebox ends up in the hands of a child in need and offers them love from around the world. Our 6 quart clear plastic shoebox is the approved size to be used for Operation Christmas Child. The plastic boxes also are one of the most precious parts of the gift, as they are extremely useful for holding food and clean water, among many other daily uses. Have questions? Don't hesitate to call us. We've also included some helpful information and links below.

    About Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes

    Since 1993, more than 94 million Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts have been packed, shipped and delivered worldwide to children in 95 countries. There are many ways to get involved in the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes project – whether you want to fill shoeboxes, lead a program at your church or organization, help with distribution, or make a direct donation to fund their work, you can find many opportunities for Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes at the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child web site. Go to Samaritan’s Purse »

    Choosing an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

    People often ask what size box for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox is best. Samaritan's purse has recommended the 6 quart storage box from Sterilite that we feature this season, but any shoe box is acceptable. The plastic box is preferable because even though the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes will be filled with gifts, the recipients can continue to use them for storage long after the holiday season.

    Packing Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes

    What should you pack in the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes? First, decide on if you plan on giving items for a boy or a girl and pick from one of the following age ranges: 2-4 years, 5-9 years, or 10-14 years. You can download labels and gift suggestions to fill your Christmas shoe boxes for kids by age group from the Samaritan’s Purse website. You’ll also find pdfs of labels for the Christmas shoe boxes that you should adhere to the plastic boxes for Operation Christmas Child delivery. Mark the label with the correct age and gender for the gifts that you pack inside your box. The volunteers at the Christmas shoe box project will then be able to distribute boxes easily to the appropriate children.

    Fill the operation Christmas shoe box with gifts. Suggested gift ideas include toys, such as small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries). Children who receive an operation Christmas shoebox are also thrilled to get school supplies such as pens, pencils, sharpeners, crayons, markers, stamps and ink pad sets, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, and coloring and picture books. More good items for your Christmas shoe box gifts would be hygiene items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, and a washcloth. Other choices to fill up your Christmas shoe boxes may include hard candy and lollipops (double bag the candy), mints, gum, t-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, and flashlights (with extra batteries).

    We love these 10 Tips to Pack a Frugal Shoebox from

    See where your Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Ends Up

    Use the tracking tools on the Samaritan's Purse web site to track your Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to see where they end up. You can use this information for educational purposes - maybe you'll want to learn more about the country and people where your Christmas shoeboxes end up. If you work with a Youth Group or Sunday School class you could post a map with pins for the endpoint of each of each Samaritan shoe box for Operation Christmas Child that you packed.

    You may enclose a note to your child and a photo of yourself or your family in your Christmas child shoebox. If you include your name and address, the child may write back.

    Unacceptable Gift Items for a Samaritan Purse Shoebox

    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, or aerosol cans.

    Christmas Shoe Box Project: Pickup Locations

    Once your Operation Christmas Child Shoebox is packed, you will need to take it to a collection center. For 2013, collection dates are scheduled for November 18-25. You can find a list of pickup locations, or how your organization can become a pickup location at the Christmas shoebox ministry web site, Samaritan’s Purse.

    You can find even more information about how Operation Christmas Child works and promotional information for your church or organization at Samaritan's purse website. Here are some great tips from their website:
    The Impact of Christmas Shoe Boxes for Children
    The Journey of a Samaritan’s Shoe Box
    How to Get Promotional Materials for Christmas Child Operation Shoeboxes
    Project Leader Resources for Christmas Shoebox Donations
    Gifts in Kind program for Christmas Shoebox Charity Sponsors
    FAQ About Packing Christmas Shoe Boxes for Children

    Note: SpaceSavers is not affiliated with the Operation Christmas Child shoe box program or Samaritan's Purse.