Operation Christmas Child

What is Operation Christmas Child?

The Samaritan's Purse project Operation Christmas Child collects shoebox gifts filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—and delivers them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, has collected and delivered more than 220 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 170 countries and territories.


Anyone can pack a shoebox. Individuals, families, churches and groups fill empty shoeboxes with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys, such as dolls or soccer balls.

During National Collection Week (Nov. 18–25, 2024), Samaritan’s Purse will collect the gift-filled shoeboxes at over 4,700 drop-off locations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Learn how to pack a shoebox, view gift suggestions, get your Follow Your Box label and find the nearest drop-off location at samaritanspurse.org/occ.

Participants can donate $10 per shoebox gift online through Follow Your Box and receive a tracking label to discover its destination.

Participants who prefer the convenience of online shopping can browse samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement.

Shoebox gifts are prepared for overseas shipment at eight major processing centers across the U.S.—Atlanta; Baltimore/Washington; Boone, North Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas/Fort Worth; Denver; Chicago; and Fullerton, California.


  • Shoebox gifts are collected in Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • More than 11.3 million shoebox gifts were collected globally in 2023, 10 million from the U.S. alone. In 2024, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoeboxes to reach another 12 million children.
  • Over 540,000 volunteers worldwide—with more than 213,000 of those in the U.S.—are involved in collecting, shipping and distributing shoebox gifts.
  • Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Samaritan’s Purse currently works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

Eternal Impact

  • Delivered into the hands of children through local churches, every shoebox gift is an opportunity to share about Jesus Christ and God’s love.
  • Since 2009 over 40.5 million shoebox recipients have participated in our 12-lesson discipleship course, The Greatest Journey. More than 20.2 million boys and girls have made decisions for Christ.

Social Media

Samaritan's Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, more than 220 million Operation Christmas Child gift filled shoeboxes have been distributed to children in more than 170 countries and territories. To learn about year round and seasonal volunteer opportunities or to serve with Operation Christmas Child, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.