Seven Tips for Shoebox Processing Center Registration

August 17, 2016 • United States
Operation Christmas Child processing center volunteers
About 80,000 volunteers serve annually at eight processing centers throughout the country.

Before registering to be a shoebox processing center volunteer, familiarize yourself with these tips to help the process go more smoothly.

7. Early Birds Could Get the Time Slot

 
Speed up the registration process by filling out a volunteer profile in advance. If you already have an updated volunteer profile, you can go directly to reserving a time slot.

“Reserve a time slot quickly by completing a volunteer profile.”

6. Be Ready to Roll Out

 
Registration opens online on different days for different processing centers, September 12-15, and stays open until mid-December. Check out the rollout schedule.

Processing center volunteers

After shoebox gifts are carefully inspected they are then packaged for overseas shipment.

“Know when registration opens for the center near you.”

5. Be Flexible

 
Have a few options in mind as you register. Shifts are much more likely to be available on weekdays than weekends. You also are more likely to find a spot faster if you start with broad search parameters.

“Keep your options open as you check for time slots.”

4. Teens Make Great Processing Center Volunteers

If you’re at least 13 years old, you’re not too young to volunteer at a processing center! In fact, it can be a great activity for your family, church group, or student organization to do together. Volunteers ages 13-17 require adult chaperones; at least one adult for every four youth.

“Volunteering is a great way to spend time with family and friends.”

3. Divide and Conquer

If you can’t find a time slot to accommodate a large group, try registering in a series of smaller groups. You are more likely to receive a wait list notification if your group is smaller.

“Register a small group if you can’t find a time for a large group.”

For example, if your wait list group numbers 50 and 45 slots open up, you will not receive a notification that slots are available for your group of 50. However, if you have placed two groups of 25 people on the wait list, you will be notified each time 25 slots open up.

Woman volunteering at an Operation Christmas Child processing center

Volunteers ensure every shoebox is full and includes special toys and items to help a child feel loved.

2. Don’t Be Discouraged: Keep Checking While You Wait

If you haven’t been able to secure a time slot, check back frequently to see if slots have reopened. It’s common for volunteers to reschedule their time slots when scheduling conflicts arise. Slots can fill back up quickly since registration is first come, first serve, so respond ASAP to wait list notifications.

“Time slots reopen as groups rearrange schedules.”

1. Be Sure to RSVP with Changes

Update your individual reservation if your plans change or your group registration if your volunteer group size changes. It’s important for us to have an accurate count of volunteers so we can make spaces available to those on the wait list. We can process the most shoebox gifts when all of the processing centers are fully staffed with volunteers.

“If your plans change, update your registration.”

To learn more about volunteering at a processing center and to see a list of Frequently Asked Questions click here.

More