gift-filled shoeboxes operation christmas child Samaritan's Purse Canada
Chillax,  FUNdraising

OCC – Life of a shoebox

Operation Christmas Child Gift-filled shoeboxes

I am 11” long, 6” wide and 4.5” deep. That’s right. 0.5” makes a huge difference you know! I can carry more delightful surprises to kids living in less fortunate parts of the world.  The suspense is in the air from the moment I am picked up by a kind person who wants to pack a shoebox. Then, where will I go? Who will I meet? What does it feel like to travel across the world with many other shoeboxes waiting to meet someone special? What does it feel like to lock eyes with the child when my lid gets opened? What will I hear when I take my first breathe in a foreign land? One year, more than 10 million shoeboxes were collected worldwide! My wish is to be sent to one of these places on the map! Will you help me get there?


What is it like when someone receives a shoebox full of gifts?

Eyes lighting up with joy. Smiles bursting forth. It’s like when a dear friend surprises you with a gift unexpectedly. You are comforted knowing that the friend is thinking of you!  Oh, what’s that song...“In good times and bad times, I’ll be by your side forever more. That’s what friends are for!”

gift-filled shoeboxes operation christmas child Samaritan's Purse Canada
Photo credit – “J” – A group from Toronto came with Operation Christmas Child to deliver gift-filled shoeboxes to children in Managua!
Gift-filled shoeboxes deliver hope transform communities
Photo credit – “J “- J from Toronto meets a soccer fan!

J and this young boy were playing soccer together just before the shoeboxes were distributed. Blown away by his soccer skills, J later learned that he played on his school’s soccer team. But he couldn’t practice on his own because he didn’t have a soccer ball.  Well guess what? Amongst all the shoeboxes delivered, his shoebox was the only one that came with a ball and a pump! Incredible isn’t it? There are so many more stories like this one!

A shoebox could change someone’s life?

“1 box = 1 life” I have been told many times that Operation Christmas Child tries to be more creative every year by finding a better slogan. But we can’t seem to get away from this one. This slogan truly reflects the impact of the many lives that have been changed through a simple gift. Here is one!

You can read more stories by searching this hashtag #shoeboxstories #ipackedashoebox

How do you pack a shoebox? It’s National Collection Week!

1) You can pack online OR you can pick us up at your local station. Click here to find one near you!

Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoebox
To pick up a shoebox, find a station near you!

2) Check out the list here for some helpful tips. Let me emphasize, absolutely no candies this year! I repeat, no candies! Help us get through the custom safely! How about filling the extra space with a wow present?  A wow gift is something extra special that will delight a child 🙂 What gifts do you see in the picture below?

a) a stuffed animal
b) a pair of shoes
c) a ball
d) all of the above

Yes, you’re right! The answer is D – all of the above. If you feel compelled to buy shoes or clothing, don’t worry about whether or not the size would fit the child who will receive your shoebox.  Yes, pick a size that is good for your age category. Then leave the rest to the Lord!

operation christmas child gift-filled shoeboxes wow gift school supplies hygienic items
How about adding a wow gift like a stuffed animal or a soccer ball?

3) Pray for the person who will receive your box.

4) Consider writing a letter to share something about yourself.  I heard some people include a picture of themselves too!

5) Include a $7 donation per box to cover the administrative fee.

That’s it, you’re done 🙂 To follow the journey of a shoebox, visit for the latest news and stories




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