Operation Christmas Child Covid-19 Important Updates

A young girl in Mongolia shows off the treasures she received in her shoebox, including a Gospel storybook in her language.

Important COVID-19 Updates

Page Last Updated: November 24, 2020

The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted everyday life for millions of people around the world. Yet, Samaritan's Purse continues to share the eternal hope of the Gospel and to serve in Jesus' Name.

We want boys and girls around the world to know that God loves them and has not forgotten them during this time of fear and uncertainty. Children need great joy now more than ever. Most of all, they need the hope found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Will you partner with us to share that glorious hope with boys and girls around the world—many of whom have never heard the Name of Jesus?

We're in the midst of a great Operation Christmas Child season. We continue to monitor local, state, and national guidelines and make adjustments to help protect the health of those involved in preparing shoebox gifts.

Build a Shoebox Online

Let us pack a box for you based on gift selections you make. Many of these shoeboxes are delivered to hard-to-reach areas to share the Good News in a culturally sensitive way.

Processing Centers

 

Samaritan's Purse is again processing shoebox gifts at eight different locations across the U.S. Volunteer registration for these processing centers opened to the public on Sept. 30. If you register to serve, we will communicate with you regularly via email regarding the modifications being made to prepare for your visit.

 

General Processing Center Guidelines

Before you arrive:
  • Before your service date, everyone in your group should be free of COVID-19 related symptoms for 14 days and should not have been exposed to anyone that is known positive for COVID-19 during that same time period. If you or someone in your group has symptoms, please do not come.
  • We also ask that you and each member of your group check your temperature before traveling to the processing center. If someone has a temperature of 100 F or higher, they will be asked to leave for the safety and health of other volunteers.
  • Please have everyone in your group complete an online volunteer waiver prior to arriving or bring a hard copy of a completed waiver to the processing center. This will expedite your process upon arrival and prevent unneeded risks when completing the waivers on-site.

 

At the Processing Center:
  • Volunteers are required to wear face coverings.
  • Samaritan's Purse will provide masks and optional gloves for all staff and volunteers who serve in a processing center.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the facilities.
  • The temperature of all volunteers will be checked upon arrival and staff temperatures will be monitored daily as well. If a volunteer has symptoms or a temperature of 100 F or higher, they will be asked to leave the processing center in consideration of all serving.
  • Designated staff will clean and sanitize the properties frequently.
  • Our newly-developed processing procedures will allow volunteers and staff to social distance while serving.
  • Volunteer group leaders will receive additional information regarding how to prepare for COVID-19 modifications prior to arrival.
  • Procedures may be customized per processing center based on local guidelines and restrictions.
  • If changes to your schedule are required due to local COVID-19 conditions, we will communicate as quickly and thoroughly as possible through volunteer group leaders and updates to this webpage.
  • There will be no food vendors on-site this year. There will be drink vending machines on site and in some cases, there may be snack vending machines as well. You are welcome to bring your own food, which may be eaten in the break room area.
  • There will be a Gear Store on-site this year! Please note that the Gear Store will be credit/debit card only and unable to accept cash or checks.

 

Specific Processing Center Guidelines

Atlanta: Volunteers are required to wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth.

Baltimore/Hampden: Volunteers are required to wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth.

Boone, North Carolina: Volunteers are required to wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth. Face shields are an acceptable alternative only if a volunteer cannot wear a face mask due to a medical or behavioral condition

Charlotte: Volunteers are required to wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth. Face shields are an acceptable alternative only if a volunteer cannot wear a face mask due to a medical or behavioral condition.

Chicagoland: Volunteers are required to wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth.

Dallas/Ft. Worth: Volunteers are required to wear face coverings.

Denver: Volunteers are required to wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth. Face shields are an acceptable alternative only if a volunteer cannot wear a face mask because it inhibits their health.

Fullerton: Volunteers are required to wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth. Face shields are an acceptable alternative only if a volunteer cannot wear a face mask due to a medical condition.

 

Please check back later for additional updates about what to expect at our processing centers this year.

Digital Resources for Churches and Groups

Build a Shoebox Online

Let us pack a box for you based on gift selections you make. Many of these shoeboxes are delivered to hard-to-reach areas to share the Good News in a culturally sensitive way.

Build a Shoebox Online—Goal Pages

In a few easy steps, create a custom webpage for your church, group, or event to track your progress toward a shoebox goal! We'll send you a unique link for you to share by email or social media to get others involved in building shoeboxes online.

Greater Opportunities for Shoeboxes (0:59)

Franklin Graham encourages supporters to pack more Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoeboxes than ever before as the global pandemic is creating greater opportunities to share the Gospel with children around the world.

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Packing Amid a Pandemic (0:30)

Franklin Graham explains that especially during a global pandemic children need to know that God loves them and has not forgotten them. One of the simplest way to communicate His love is by packing a shoebox!

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The Urgency of the Gospel (2:02)

As the world wrestles with a global pandemic, children around the world need hope now more than ever. Gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes can help show them God's love and provide an opportunity to communicate the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Build a Shoebox Online

This overview of Operation Christmas Child's contactless shoebox packing option also features our new goal pages—an easy way to track the progress of a church or group toward a shoebox goal.

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Social Media Graphics

Build a Shoebox Online

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Customizable Media Slides

Build a Shoebox Online—Goal Pages

Update this editable slide with information about the Build a Shoebox Online goal page for your church or group.

⇣Download Media Slides

Frequently Asked Questions

National Collection Week is over. Can I still pack a shoebox?

Yes, you can. Please Build a Shoebox Online.

Will the Processing Centers be operating differently due to COVID-19?

Samaritan's Purse has started the processing season with staff and volunteers, making needed modifications to conform with local, state, and federal guidelines. As we continue to monitor disease trends, we are also developing contingency plans to ensure shoeboxes are processed. Personal protective equipment will be readily available and more intensive cleaning protocols will be in place for all Processing Centers in 2020. We encourage you to check this page for the latest information.

Is Operation Christmas Child still moving forward with ministry overseas with coronavirus, or is it impacting the efforts of Operation Christmas Child?

We are continuing ministry overseas. Operation Christmas Child is working directly with our international volunteer leadership teams in over 100 countries to assess ongoing ministry activity with some modifications according to local government guidelines.

Does Operation Christmas Child need these boxes?

Yes! Now more than ever, children need to have the reassurance that they are loved by God. We believe in the urgency of reaching communities with the eternal hope of the Gospel, especially in these uncertain times. Shoebox gifts—and our follow-up discipleship program, The Greatest Journey—are powerful tools to share this Good News with millions of people around the world.

If we can't gather, why would kids be gathering?

The health and safety of our staff, local partners, and beneficiaries is of utmost importance to us. Samaritan's Purse is constantly monitoring COVID-19 trends around the world. In addition, Operation Christmas Child is working directly with our international volunteer leadership teams in over 100 countries to assess ongoing ministry activity with some modifications according to local government guidelines.

What's the best way to get updates?

The best way to stay informed is to stay current on our social media channels and to continue checking this page.

Can I volunteer in the processing center if I have a written order from a physician stating I don't have to wear a face covering?

We seek to set a standard of care in this unique season and ask volunteers to adhere to the same. Volunteers will be required to wear a face covering while in the processing center. Masks will be available onsite for those who do not have one. Samaritan's Purse has established the guidelines for processing this season, and a physician's order will not be permitted.

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