Follow Your Box FAQs


Discover the Destination of Your Shoebox Gifts

By making a simple donation for shipping and other program costs through Follow Your Box, those who pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child can discover the country destinations of their gifts. Samaritan’s Purse will email a special label, which, when attached to each shoebox packed, tracks the country destinations through our Follow Your Box look-up tool.


Frequently Asked Questions

How It Works


How do I follow my box?

After you complete a shipping donation online through Follow Your Box, your tracking label will be displayed on the payment confirmation page and delivered to you via email. Print the label as many times as you need to affix each shoebox you pack with a tracking label. Mark boy or girl and the age-group range on each label according to the shoebox’s contents and attach the label to the shoebox gift. The label is connected to your email address through a tracking number, so it’s important to include the label on each of the shoeboxes so that each one can be tracked. The barcode enables us to scan shoeboxes during processing and to record their shipping status and country destination in our Follow Your Box look-up tool. There, look up the information for your shoeboxes according to your tracking number or the email address you used to donate to Follow Your Box.


Do I need to include $9 in each shoebox in addition to attaching a Follow Your Box tracking label?

No, the tracking label indicates that the $9 shipping donation per shoebox already has been donated online through Follow Your Box.


Getting Your Labels


How will I receive my label?

After completing your donation through Follow Your Box, your tracking label will be displayed on the payment confirmation screen and delivered to you via email from Samaritan’s Purse (updates@e.samaritan.org).



I didn’t receive two different labels (one for a boy gift and one for a girl gift). Has the label changed?

Yes, we are now providing one tracking label for you to mark either boy or girl for each shoebox and the age-group range to coincide with each shoebox’s contents. You can still print or copy the label as many times as needed. If you made a Follow My Box donation earlier in the year and received both a boy label and a girl label, you can still attach those to your shoeboxes to track your boxes. Either label type will work.

So, I can still Follow My Box no matter which label design I use? Yes, either label design will work to Follow My Box because the tracking number on the label is linked to the email address you used to make the donation. If you ended up with both label designs because you made more than one Follow Your Box donation this year to cover shipping for additional boxes packed, it doesn’t matter if some of your boxes are labeled with the former label type and others with the new label design.


How many labels should I print?

You can print or copy the label as many times as needed so that each shoebox you pack has a tracking label. After you have made a shipping donation through Follow Your Box, you can right click on the payment confirmation screen label to print it or open the email attachment we send you to print the label. You can reopen your email attachment at a later time if you need to print more labels or refer to your tracking number. You also can save the label attachment to your computer for future reference.


What do I do with my Follow Your Box tracking label once I print it?

Be sure you have printed or copied enough Follow Your Box tracking labels so that you can tape one label on each shoebox. Don’t forget to mark boy or girl contents for each box, along with the age-group range. The best place to tape the barcode label is off center on the lid of the shoebox. Avoid placing the label in the center of the shoebox lid because that is where the shoebox will be taped shut at a processing center. Place the label to one side of the lid so that the label will be visible to the processing center volunteers who will scan the barcode. Make sure the label edges are securely attached to lessen the likelihood of the label getting torn off or its barcode ripped during transit.


Why haven’t I received an email containing my barcoded label?

Samaritan’s Purse sends a Follow Your Box tracking label to the email address entered when making a shipping donation online through Follow Your Box. Refresh the inbox of the email address you used to complete the Follow Your Box donation and search for an email from updates@e.samaritan.org. Be sure to check your spam folder or junk mail inbox for the email. You may need to add Samaritan’s Purse info@samaritan.org and updates@e.samaritan.org to your safe senders list. Email info@samaritan.org or call 1-800-353-5949 if you did not receive your Follow Your Box label and a representative will help you obtain a Follow Your Box label.


I paid for multiple shoeboxes. Why did I only receive one Follow Your Box tracking label?

You will receive one tracking label when you donate through Follow Your Box. Print or copy that label as many times as needed to attach one label per shoebox and label each box’s contents. Placing a label on each box will enable us to track each shoebox you pack. Your specific tracking number on the label is connected to the email address you used to Follow Your Box, so you can use the same label for all of your shoeboxes.


Why do my labels have the same tracking number? Shouldn’t they be different?

Your tracking number can be the same on each of your shoeboxes because the label is associated with the email address you provided when you made your Follow Your Box donation. Each shoebox with a barcode is scanned at a processing center along with its individual shipping carton label, which enables us to provide you with country destinations for multiple shoebox gifts.


Tracking Your Shoebox Gifts



Where can I enter in my label number online to track my shoebox gifts?

Visit our Follow Your Box look-up tool. Enter the number on your Follow Your Box label or the email address you used to Follow Your Box. Shoebox information will display in the look-up tool once shoeboxes have been processed. This typically occurs at processing centers between mid-November and mid-December. Then, it will either report that your boxes are awaiting overseas shipment or it will list the country destinations where they are being shipped.

Once I drop off shoeboxes, will I be able to track their progress?

You will be able to track your shoeboxes at two stages: 1) after they have been processed and are awaiting overseas shipment and 2} after they have been shipped to a country destination. Most shoeboxes are processed in the weeks following National Collection Week, the third week of November, through mid-December every year. After processing has been completed, it will be noted in the Follow Your Box look-up tool that your shoeboxes are awaiting shipment. The look-up tool also will note when the shoeboxes have been shipped to country destinations. This could happen in quick succession or a shipment could be delayed because of customs procedures. You must log in to the tool to see the updates.

Will I receive an email notification for each shoebox I packed?

No, Samaritan’s Purse will send you one email with a tracking label and a link to our Follow Your Box look-up tool. Using its search field, you can enter either your label number or the email address you used to Follow Your Box. The tool will generate a list of countries your shoeboxes were shipped to, rather than the country where each shoebox was shipped.

Why haven’t I received an email telling me where my shoeboxes went?

If you made your shipping donation online through Follow Your Box, you will receive an email from Samaritan’s Purse with a link to our Follow Your Box look-up tool. From there, you will be able to track the shipping status and country destinations of your shoebox gifts. You may need to add Samaritan’s Purse, info@samaritan.org and updates@e.samaritan.org, to your safe senders list. If your tracking label is ripped or separated from the shoebox while it is being transported, it may prevent us from tracking your gift.

I donated to Operation Christmas Child online. Why didn’t I receive a tracking label?

Follow Your Box tracking labels are only provided when you donate specifically through Follow Your Box, not through any other Donate Online section of samaritanspurse.org (such as a fundraising page, another Operation Christmas Child item, or Adopt A Box in the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog).

Will I receive information or a photo of the child who receives my shoebox?

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide pictures or information about the specific child who receives your shoebox.

Is there a way I can arrange to have my shoeboxes go to different countries rather than the same country?

Because of the logistics involved in collecting, processing, and distributing millions of shoebox gifts to over 100 countries each year, we are unable to pre-assign certain shoeboxes for specific countries.

Can I follow my shoebox through Build A Shoebox Online?

Yes, shoebox gifts built online automatically will be tracked through Follow Your Box. Samaritan’s Purse will send a link via the Follow Your Box look-up tool to the email address associated with your donation. Many of the shoebox gifts built online are delivered to hard-to-reach areas.

Follow Your Box Look-Up Tool

The Follow Your Box look-up tool only listed one country destination, but I packed multiple shoeboxes. Where did the rest of my boxes go?

The Follow Your Box look-up tool will list the countries where your shoeboxes were shipped but will not display where each shoebox was shipped or how many of your shoeboxes were shipped to each country.

Why are my shoeboxes not showing up in the look-up tool?

If you looked up your shoeboxes using an email address instead of your tracking number, make sure that the email address is the same one you used when making your Follow Your Box donation. If your label gets ripped or separated from the shoebox while it’s being transported, it may prevent us from tracking your gift.

Why did the look-up tool indicate that my shoebox gift was sent to a hard-to-reach country and not a specific country?

For the safety of our ministry partners and local believers living in some hard-to-reach areas, we cannot disclose the names of these countries. Some countries are hard-to-reach because they are experiencing a form of conflict that complicates the delivery of shipments.

Why can’t I see where my previous years’ boxes where shipped in the new look-up tool?

The Follow Your Box look-up tool references the email address you entered when you completed this year’s Follow Your Box donation. If you used a different email address to Follow Your Box in previous years, enter in that email address in the look-up tool’s search function.

Why does it show that my shoebox has been scanned but not that it has been shipped?

The Follow Your Box label is scanned during processing in mid-November through mid-December. Most shoeboxes are shipped immediately after processing, but some shipments may be delayed by customs procedures. The country destination of your gift will display in the Follow Your Box look-up tool as soon as its shipment has been confirmed. Shoebox outreach events typically occur from late December through mid-year as national leadership teams and local believers coordinate shoebox distributions in communities they have identified.

The look-up tool indicated that my shoeboxes were shipped in December. How did this happen so quickly?

Shoeboxes are scanned when they are processed in mid-November through mid-December. Most of them are then shipped out immediately. This does not mean they have arrived yet, simply that the shipping container is on its way to the country destination.

What does it mean if the destination of my shoebox is listed as “To Be Determined: Special Event Distribution?”

Some shoeboxes are designated for special event distributions. If the look-up tool displays this information, it means your shoebox gift is in our Charlotte processing center and awaiting shipment. About 1 percent of the 11.4 million shoeboxes packed in 2016 will be distributed during special events. These shoeboxes will begin shipping early February on the Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 aircraft and will continue until July. When your shoebox ships, the look-up tool will automatically update to indicate the country destination of your gift.

How do I find the answer to a question that isn’t covered here?

We also have an Operation Christmas Child question-and-answer webpage. If you have additional questions, contact us at occinfo@samaritan.org or 1-800-353-5949.

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