With just more than a month until National Collection Week, and as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause fear and uncertainty, the Boone-based nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse is calling on churches and families to pack more shoebox gifts than ever before for Operation Christmas Child — making sure millions of children experience the Good News and great joy of the holiday. Samaritan’s Purse is committed to its mission of reaching millions of children across the globe with hope.

The Samaritan’s Purse project has been collecting and delivering shoebox gifts —filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys — to children worldwide for more than two decades. This is a mission project that everyone can still be a part of, even with COVID-19 restrictions. Simply pack shoeboxes with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys. Then, bring them to one of more than 4,000 Drop-Off Locations during National Collection Week Nov. 16–23. Drop-Off Locations will be listed starting in early November at samaritanspurse.org and can be searched by city or ZIP code.

Even if churches and groups are not yet meeting, families are encouraged to pack shoebox gifts at home. Through Operation Christmas Child’s network of thousands of churches around the world, God uses these simple gifts to make an eternal impact.

The organization also offers an option to virtually pack a shoebox gift. Through this online tool, churches and groups can also set up a goal page to rally together to reach a larger goal. Simply set a goal, invite your friends, and start packing. Whether your goal is 50 shoeboxes or 5,000, anyone can Create a Goal Page and work together with church members, friends, and family to share the hope of the Gospel with children around the world.

Those interested in more information on Operation Christmas Child COVID-19 protocols, can visit Important COVID-19 Updates for the latest information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, seeks to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

About 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 178 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

In 2020, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 11 million children in countries such as Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and Ukraine. More than 10.5 million shoebox gifts were collected worldwide in 2019, with more than 8.9 million collected in the U.S.

ProcessAnyone 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. 16–23, 2020), 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.

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 $9 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 U.S. — Atlanta; Baltimore/Washington; Boone, North Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas/Fort Worth; Denver; Chicago; and Fullerton, California.

ScopeShoebox gifts are collected in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Spain and New Zealand.

Nearly 575,000 volunteers worldwide — with more than 270,000 of those in the U.S. — 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.

ImpactDelivered 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 23 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.

Social MediaTo 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 occinfo@samaritan.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 MediaFacebook @OperationChristmasChild

Twitter @occ_shoeboxes

Instagram @operationchristmaschild

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