Operation Christmas Child’s National Collection Week this year starts on Monday, November 13, and concludes Monday, November 20.
Each year, individuals, families, churches, and groups lovingly pack millions of shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse.
With toys, school supplies, or hygiene items, the giver seeks to pack their shoebox with as much fun and blessing as it will hold. Before closing the lid, the giver can include a note and photograph for the recipient.
The shoeboxes are then taken to one of nearly 5,000 local collection sites scattered throughout the country during National Collection Week. They are then delivered to regional processing centers where volunteers prepare them for their trip overseas.
Hundreds or thousands of miles later, the boxes clear customs, entering the care of Samaritan’s Purse ministry partners who plan distribution events at churches and other locations.
In the hands of ministry partners, the shoeboxes become tools to tell children about God’s greatest gift, Jesus Christ, and lives are changed for eternity.
The largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child delivers shoebox gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.
“The shoebox gifts donated throughout the country … will shine a light of hope to children living in poverty overseas,” said Randy Riddle, Senior Director of Operation Christmas Child in the United States, in a press release. “Anyone is welcome to pack a shoebox and help a child facing difficult circumstances to feel loved and not forgotten.”
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 146 million shoeboxes in more than 150 countries and territories.
This year, the goal is to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach 12 million children, with 9.6 million coming from the United States.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child or to view gift suggestions, call 1-800-353-5949 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.
By NRB Staff
Published: November 2, 2017