Every year people prayerfully fill shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and personal care items for children in need around the world.

These special boxes are joyfully received by boys and girls from 2-14 years old, often as their first gift ever! Whether sending or receiving, those touched by Operation Christmas Child testify to the power of a gift-filled shoebox given in Jesus’ Name. Read on for a brief glimpse at both sides of a shoebox gift!

Ava | Kavari

Ava, Shoebox Packer, Delaware

“Shoeboxes provide hope for children who might not have any hope,” said Ava, 10. Her family of four went from packing five shoebox gifts as a family to doing more than 100 boxes in each of the following two years. “It made me feel happy because we're spreading God's Word to people who have never heard of Jesus,” she said. “It's important that they know that He loves them.”


Kavari, Shoebox Recipient, Namibia

Kavari, a deaf student, was thrilled to see all the gifts packed inside of his Operation Christmas Child shoebox, especially the soccer ball. Yet, it wasn’t a toy that excited him the most—it was The Greatest Gift storybook that includes 11 Scripture stories and invites children to follow Jesus Christ.

Just one day after the outreach event, Kavari was already eagerly sharing the stories in his book. “I'm so happy to get the booklet,” he said. “I learned about creation, how we should love one another, and how the kids in the Bible were excited to see God.” The stories in the booklet had quickly become more than stories to Kavari—he knew they were God's truth and that they would change his life. “I decided to follow Jesus,” he said.

Rhonda | Mary Joy

Rhonda Moore, Mother of a Shoebox Packer, Ohio

“On a Sunday during National Collection Week, my child dedicated her heart to God,” said Rhonda, a year-round volunteer with Operation Christmas Child. She had long been distraught that her daughter, Sarah, had abandoned her Christian upbringing. As collection time approached, fellow year-round volunteers joined Rhonda in praying for a breakthrough for her daughter. This season is typically marked by intense prayer—yes, for the shoebox outreach, but also for many issues—and God answers requests in powerful ways. Amazed, Rhonda said, “Our prayers may seem small but His answers are mighty”—on both sides of the shoebox.

Rhonda Moore
Shoebox recipients in the Philippines

Mary Joy, Mother of a Shoebox Recipient, Philippines

When Mary Joy's 10-year-old daughter Geraldine received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, she loved the stuffed animal, bag, and hair ties she found inside. “It's very unusual for her to receive a gift like this,” said Mary Joy from her flood-prone home in the slums. Geraldine's presents started something in her that blessed their entire family of seven. She soon enrolled in The Greatest Journey follow-up discipleship program and accepted Christ into her heart while studying the 12 Bible lessons. Now, Mary Joy notices that Geraldine is quick to care for her three younger siblings and obey her parents.

Pastor Ken | Pastor John

Pastor Ken Bevel, Georgia

“When that shoebox is opened, they're overjoyed. What a great gift,” said Pastor Ken Bevel. But he knows it accomplishes so much more than bringing smiles to children’s faces. “A shoebox gives us an opportunity to continue to shine the bright light of the Gospel in the darkest and most remote places around the world. When that shoebox leaves that processing center and it goes around the world that's not just one person, that's the body of Christ joined together delivering the Good News of the Gospel.”


Pastor John, Suriname

“The shoeboxes are an open door for us to spread the Gospel to the unreachable people, both the children and their parents,” Pastor John said. He is a member of the Saramaccan ethnic group, among whom there are relatively few believers. Through shoebox outreaches, however, Pastor John is seeing the Good News of Jesus Christ transform the lives of men, women, and children.

Amie | Ravina

Amie Winstead, Year-Round Volunteer, Tennessee

“Everything we do with Operation Christmas Child, we meet it with prayer,” said year-round volunteer Amie Winstead. Members of her church in Maynardville, Tennessee, intercede for each shoebox recipient and receiving country, including the national teams and local churches who distribute the boxes. These Tennesseans even intercede for logistics, such as the journey shoeboxes take to various drop-off locations and a processing center before heading overseas.

Amie Winstead
Ravina Kumar

Ravina Kumar, Volunteer National Discipleship Coordinator, Fiji

“I witnessed one outreach event, which touched my heart a lot,” said Ravina. “Children were walking barefoot and from far they came. They were very respectful children and listened to the Gospel presentation. When the time came to open the shoeboxes, I saw a child holding his box, hugging it, and then he started to cry loudly. I asked, ‘My son, why are you crying?’ He said, ‘Auntie, I go to school barefoot. I don't have flip flops. I share with my sister a pair of shoes. When I go to school, some children come with their expensive shoes and they show off. All the time, I pray. Even today, I asked Jesus to please give me shoes as a gift.’ He opened the box and showed me a pair of brand-name shoes with fancy lights. He was so happy he was kissing the shoes. Maybe the whole of his life he'll remember it. The Lord gives more through these gift boxes than what the children ask.”

Just like these exciting examples from both sides of the box, the shoebox gifts you prayerfully pack this season will be a part of changing lives—both here and around the globe. God will use your generosity and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform children, their families, and their communities!

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.”

—Luke 6:38