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 personal care 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 209 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 170 countries and territories. In 2023, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 11 million children. This year, Operation Christmas Child will celebrate its 30th year of ministry!


Anyone can pack a shoebox. Individuals, families, churches and groups fill empty shoeboxes with school supplies, personal care items, and fun toys, such as dolls or soccer balls.

During National Collection Week (Nov. 13–20, 2023), Samaritan's Purse will collect the gift filled shoeboxes at more than 4,500 drop off locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Learn how to pack a shoebox, view gift suggestions, find the nearest drop-off location, and Follow Your Box 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 $10 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.


Shoebox gifts are collected in Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

More than 10.5 million shoebox gifts were collected globally in 2022, 9.3 million from the U.S. alone. In 2023, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoeboxes to reach another 11 million children.

Nearly 540,000 volunteers worldwide—with more than 220,000 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.

Eternal Impact

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, 35.4 million shoebox recipients have participated in our 12-lesson discipleship course, The Greatest Journey. More than 24.9 million children have graduated from this program with over 17.4 million boys and girls making decisions for Christ.

In 2023, Operation Christmas Child is celebrating 50 million children discipled.

Social Media

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 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 Media

Samaritan's Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, more than 209 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.org/occ.