What is Operation Christmas Child?

The Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, collects shoebox gifts filled with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items, and delivers them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, has collected and delivered more than 198 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 170 countries and territories. This year, the project expects to collect its 200 millionth gift-filled shoebox!

How it works?

Anyone can pack a shoebox. Individuals, families, churches, and groups fill empty shoeboxes with school supplies, hygiene items, and fun toys, such as dolls or soccer balls.

During National Collection Week (November 14–21, 2022), Samaritan’s Purse will collect the gift-filled shoeboxes at nearly 5,000 drop-off locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Learn how to pack a shoebox, view gift suggestions, get your Follow Your Box label, and find the nearest drop-off location at samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Participants can donate $10.00 per shoebox gift online through Follow Your Box and receive a tracking label to discover its destination.

Participants who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Shoebox gifts are prepared for overseas shipment at eight major processing centers across the United States: Atlanta; Baltimore/Washington; Boone, North Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas/Fort Worth; Denver; Chicago; and Fullerton, California.


Shoebox gifts are collected in Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

After collecting 10.5 million shoeboxes globally in 2021, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoeboxes to reach 11 million children in 2022, with 9.4 million of these boxes coming from the United States. Over 498,000 volunteers worldwide—with nearly 200,000 of those in the United States—are involved in collecting, shipping, and distributing shoebox gifts.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Samaritan’s Purse currently works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, and famine.

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