Operation Christmas Child: How to Pack a Shoebox

By Samaritan's Purse, Crossmap On September 4, 2013

Samaritan's Purse

Operation Christmas Child: How to Pack a Shoebox.

Since 1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God's love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan's Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ. 

1. Shoe Box

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Use an empty shoebox (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.

2. Boy or Girl
Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child's age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading the artwork to the right. Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.


Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child. Use the gift ideas provided on the bottom of this page. Please include at least one item a child can immediately embrace such as a stuffed toy, doll, ball or toy truck.

4. Include $7 Donation
Please donate $7 or more for each shoebox you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our "Follow Your Box Donation" option, or you can write a check to Samaritan's Purse (note "OCC" on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoebox, please make one combined donation.

5. Drop Off
Place a rubber band around each closed shoebox and drop it off at the collection center nearest you during our collection week, November 18-25, 2013. For locations and hours of collection visit our Drop-Off Locations page where you can find the nearest place to take your shoe box by entering your ZIP Code or you can call 1-800-353-5949. You can also send your shoebox gift to: Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child 801 Bamboo Road Boone, NC 28607

  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
  • TOYS: Small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch,® toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky,® etc.
  • HYGIENE ITEMS: Toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.
  • OTHER: T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)
  • A PERSONAL NOTE: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)
  • DO NOT INCLUDE: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out- of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

© 2013 Samaritan's Purse.