Operation Christmas Child
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 188 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 170 countries and territories. In 2021, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 9.7 million children.
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 (Nov. 15–21, 2021), Samaritan’s Purse will collect the gift‑filled shoeboxes at nearly 400 drop‑off locations across Canada
Learn how to pack a shoebox, view gift suggestions, download boy/girl labels, and find the nearest drop‑off location at samaritanspurse.ca/occ.
Do not include candy; toothpaste; used or damaged items; war‑related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; seeds; chocolate or food; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items, such as snow globes or glass containers; or aerosol cans.
Participants can donate $10 per shoebox gift to help cover project costs.
Participants who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse PackaBox.ca 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 our processing center in Calgary, Alberta.
Shoebox gifts are collected in Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Nearly 575,000 volunteers worldwide—with more than 20,000 of those in Canada—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.
Delivered into the hands of children through local churches, every shoebox gift is an opportunity to share about Jesus Christ and God’s love.
Since 2009, more than 26.5 million children who have received a shoebox gift have participated in The Greatest Journey—a 12‑lesson discipleship program. Children learn from trained, local volunteers what it means to follow Jesus and share their faith with friends and family.
To spread the word, tag Operation Christmas Child on any social media posts related to the project. You can also share your shoebox stories and photos by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your content may be used on national social media pages. Be sure to like, comment and share Operation Christmas Child posts.
Operation Christmas Child on Social Media
Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, more than 188 million Operation Christmas Child gift‑filled shoeboxes have been distributed to children in more than 170 countries and territories. To learn about year‑round and seasonal volunteer opportunities or to serve with Operation Christmas Child, visit samaritanspurse.ca/occ.