Operation Christmas Child Covid-19 Important Updates

A young girl in Mongolia shows off the treasures she received in her shoebox, including a Gospel storybook in her language.

Important COVID-19 Updates

Page Last Updated: November 10, 2021

The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted everyday life for millions of people around the world. Yet, Samaritan's Purse continues to share the eternal hope of the Gospel and to serve in Jesus' Name.

We want boys and girls around the world to know that God loves them and has not forgotten them during this time of fear and uncertainty. Children need great joy now more than ever. Most of all, they need the hope found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Will you partner with us to share that glorious hope with boys and girls around the world—many of whom have never heard the Name of Jesus?

We're in the midst of a great Operation Christmas Child season. We continue to monitor local, state, and national guidelines and make adjustments to help protect the health of those involved in preparing shoebox gifts.

Shoebox Packing: Traditional and Online

We still encourage you to prayerfully pack shoeboxes full of toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children in need around the world. If, however, getting out to a store is difficult for you due to the pandemic, consider building a shoebox online! You can still select the items you want to include in your box and personalize it with a note and photo. Last year, many people chose to create a goal page to encourage others in their church or group to build shoeboxes online, too! Many of these shoeboxes are delivered to hard-to-reach areas to share the Good News in a culturally sensitive way.

Check out our digital resources for churches and groups!

Drop-off Locations

Samaritan's Purse plans to collect shoebox gifts in over 4,500 locations across the U.S. this year, with each one offering a curbside drop-off option.

Find a Location Near You

Search for the drop-off location nearest you after mid-October using our drop-off locator. Don't forget to check back on that page just before National Collection Week (Nov. 15-22) for the latest information and locations.

What to Expect When Dropping Off Shoeboxes

When you arrive at your drop-off location, follow the signs for curbside drop off. A volunteer will greet you and direct you to an outside area where they will retrieve your shoeboxes. Volunteers will also present you with a touchless way to leave your contact information and the number of shoeboxes that you are dropping off.

Processing Centers

Samaritan's Purse is again processing shoebox gifts at different locations across the U.S. Volunteer registration for these processing centers opens to the public on Sept. 29. If you register to serve, we will communicate with you regularly via email regarding the modifications being made to prepare for your visit.


General Processing Center Guidelines

Before you arrive:
  • Before your service date, everyone in your group should be free of COVID-19 related symptoms for 14 days and should not have been exposed to anyone that is known positive for COVID-19 during that same time period. If you or someone in your group has symptoms, please do not come.
  • We also ask that you and each member of your group check your temperature before traveling to the processing center.
  • Please have everyone in your group complete an online volunteer waiver prior to arriving or bring a hard copy of a completed waiver to the processing center. This will expedite your process upon arrival and prevent unneeded risks when completing the waivers on-site.


At the Processing Center:
  • Masks and gloves will be available at the entrance of each Processing Center.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the facilities.
  • Designated staff will clean and sanitize the properties frequently.
  • Our adapted processing procedures will allow volunteers and staff to social distance while serving.
  • Volunteer group leaders will receive additional information regarding how to prepare for COVID-19 modifications prior to arrival.
  • Procedures may be customized per processing center based on local guidelines and restrictions.
  • There will be a Gear Store on-site this year! Please note that the Gear Store will be credit/debit card only and unable to accept cash or checks.


Specific Processing Center Guidelines

Samaritan's Purse is following state and local COVID-19 requirements for each Processing Center location. You can find more information for specific locations below. Please check back here for any updates closer to the time you will be volunteering.

  • Boone, North Carolina: Masks optional.
  • Charlotte: Masks required. Face shields are an acceptable alternative only if a volunteer should not wear a mask due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability.