It’s National Collection Week, November 17-23, for Operation Christmas Child. Time to bring in your shoe boxes for kids in need around the world. You can also pack shoeboxes year round at 

Operation Christmas Child provides an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple, hands-on project of Samaritan’s Purse that focuses on the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus Christ – God’s greatest gift.

A few weeks ago, I was talking with my friend Chantelle after the service at church. We were talking about the upcoming Christmas season and about Operation Christmas Child. When Chantelle lived in Belize she remembers receiving her own shoe box at Christmas time. It was a time in her life when money was more than tight and her daughter, who was little at the time (she’s now 16), had needs the family could not meet. Chantelle happened upon a church for a Christmas service and unbeknownst to her, they were handing out shoe boxes, packed by families in Canada.

The shoe box not only filled a physical need for her daughter but also filled Chantelle’s heart, a gift she’s never forgotten and now that they live in Canada, we have the opportunity to participate with them in packing boxes for kids around the world.

When our missions team to Romania returned home this year, they told us about the different homes they visited, the orphanages they worked at and the villages where they played games with the kids. In one of the homes, on the shelf above the table, was a green and red Operation Christmas Child shoe box. It was quite the moment for the team, knowing that possible one of the boxes they’ve packed in the past, was that box for that family.

Read more stories from the field here.

This year our church filled 41 boxes and I have 3 more to drop off this week.

As a family we filled 3 boxes; one for an older girl (10-14), one for an older boy (10-14) and one for a younger boy (2-4), to match the ages of my kids. I took the kids shopping with me and together we picked out items they felt these children would like. I’m very proud of my kids for wanting to use their allowance, their time and even a few of their unopened gifts from our gift box, to give to others.

There is still time for you to fill a shoe box or two! In each box include $7 for shipping overseas.

  • 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, socks, and candy (loose, individually wrapped hard candy in a sealable bag)
  • Personal Note  – Include a personal note and/or a photo in your shoebox (not inside the donation envelope)

  • Decks of standard playing cards (other card games such as UNO are allowed)
  • Food and any chewy, crumbly, or soft 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.
  • Using a backpack instead of a shoe box is problematic because it creates unfair circumstances at distribution events.  Backpacks can also cause problems when cartons are being packed, and when shipments are going through Customs.

 Find a Collection Centre near you.

Love gives. Give today.


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

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