Each shoebox is an opportunity to show God's love to a child -- so pack one today!
2016 National Collection Week is November 14 - 20, 2016.
NEW 2015 PACKING RESTRICTION: DUE TO CUSTOMS REGULATIONS NO CANDY IN CANADIAN SHOEBOXES
When you’re packing gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes this year, please leave out candy or any type of food – and fill the extra space with more school supplies, hygiene items, and/or toys. CLICK HERE for more information.
Wondering what to pack in your shoeboxes?
Click here for the list of Top 100 Shoebox Items:
1. SELECT A SHOEBOX
- Use a regular-sized shoe box or shoebox-sized plastic box. If wrapping your shoebox, please wrap the lid separately.
2. BOY OR GIRL?
- Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child's age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.
3. FILL YOUR SHOEBOX
- Fill your shoebox with a well-balanced variety of items from the following categories:
- School Supplies - Items such as pens, pencils, pencil crayons, note pads, and picture books
- Hygiene Items - Items such as: facecloth, toothbrush, comb, and soap. Please place soap in a sealable bag
- Toys & Other Gifts - Items such as: stuffed animals, small musical instruments, hair clips, toy jewelry, t-shirts, and socks
- Personal Note - Include a personal note and/or a photo in your shoebox (not inside the donation envelope)
DO NOT INCLUDE:
- Decks of standard playing cards (other card games such as UNO are allowed)
- Food or candy: Including gum (due to customs regulations)
- Used items (due to customs regulations)
- Toothpaste (due to customs regulations)
- Liquids or items that could leak, melt, freeze, or break - Shampoo, creams, lip balm, bath gels, mirrors, or glass, etc. (these can damage other items in the shoebox).
- Items that can scare or harm a child - War-related toys, knives, and toy guns, etc.
Note: We would prefer that you NOT use backpacks. Backpacks accommodate more gift items, which is nice for the child who receives it, but can seem unfair to other children nearby who must be given conventional shoe boxes. Backpacks are also more challenging than shoeboxes to insert into our standard cardboard shipping cartons, and they can raise concerns when they arrive at Customs.
WHY NO CANDY OR FOOD?
Customs and health officials in a growing number of the countries have either changed their food safety laws or decided to enforce the laws in place. In order to enforce these laws, they are taking more time to carefully inspect box after box, searching for candy or food. These inspections are delaying our distributions, and sometimes forcing us to re-direct shoeboxes to other countries, while we work through the issue with government officials.
Given these circumstances, rather than risk having deserving children not receive gift-filled shoeboxes, we’ve decided to stop allowing the boxes to depart Canada with any type of candy or food inside. Volunteers at our shoebox processing centers will be monitoring to ensure any food items in the boxes are donated to local charities.
Eliminating candy may be sad news for some Canadian shoebox donors. But it’s necessary so ALL the boxes you pack are cleared through every step of the receiving countries’ customs and health inspection processes and into the hands of hurting children in countries like Costa Rica, Senegal, and Haiti.
Rather than viewing this as bad news, please make it good news by ensuring the boxes you pack are filled to the brim with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and other items needy children would love.
Bringing Good News and Great Joy to children who are hurting is what we all want, and we at Samaritan’s Purse thank you for caring enough to transform lives through Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. You are a blessing to children who may have never received a gift during their entire lives.
Click to open a page of shoebox labels.
4. MAKE YOUR MINIMUM $7 DONATION
Please donate a minimum of $7 for each shoebox you prepare to help cover project costs--including shipping. Please make one combined donation for multiple shoeboxes.
- Simply make your donation online or place your cheque or cash donation in an envelope inside your shoebox, on top of the items. If you make an online donation, you do not need to include the donation receipt in the shoebox. Tax-deductible receipts will be issued for donations of $15 or more.
5. DROP OFF YOUR SHOEBOXES
You can also pack shoeboxes online by clicking here!
Other shoebox resources:
Ways you can help
Pray that each child who receives an Operation Christmas Child shoebox will know how much God loves them.
Help Samaritan’s Purse go beyond the shoebox and expand assistance to children, their families, and their communities Donate Here