Volunteer at a Processing Center
Millions of shoeboxes are collected during National Collection Week. Before these special gifts can bring hope and joy to children around the world, each one has to be carefully inspected and made ready for overseas shipment by volunteers like you. You can help prepare shoeboxes for delivery by volunteering at one of our eight processing centers across the United States. About 80,000 volunteers serve annually at our processing centers.
We have opportunities at the processing centers for volunteer groups of all sizes. You can volunteer as an individual or with family and friends.
Volunteer registration for the processing centers opens in September. If you haven’t already done so, take a minute now to create a profile on our volunteer page so you can complete the process quickly when registration opens for your area. Registration opens at 8 a.m. local time for each processing center location.
Processing Center FAQ:
How can I move through check-in quickly?
Groups that complete online waivers for all members before arriving at the processing center earn a FAST PASS to expedite the check-in process. Every member of the group must be in attendance in order to qualify for the FAST PASS.
Can I update my reservation?
You can manage your reservation at occvolunteersignup.com. If your group size decreases, it is critical to the operation of the processing center that you notify us so these spaces may be made available to volunteers on our waiting list. To increase your group size, check availability at occvolunteersignup.com.
What are the roles at a processing center?
Every volunteer in the processing center plays an important role in the ministry of Operation Christmas Child, ensuring the integrity and successful delivery of the gifts. Volunteers in the processing center form teams and perform all the tasks necessary to process the shoeboxes at one location. Teams are responsible for removing financial contributions from the shoeboxes, inspecting the gifts, sorting inappropriate items, working with filler items, separating boxes by age and gender, and boxing shoeboxes in designated cartons. Due to the fast-paced environment of the warehouse and changing needs, you may be asked to do different tasks. We appreciate your flexibility.
Are there employment opportunities?
What are the dates of operation?
Processing begins Tuesday, November 22, 2016, and continues through December 17, 2016. The hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, except for Thanksgiving Day when the processing centers will be closed.
Can any age volunteer?
All volunteers must be at least 13 years of age, regardless of a student’s grade level. Due to the warehouse environment, we can allow no exceptions to this age requirement. At least one chaperone for every four youth is required (youth volunteers include any volunteers between the ages of 13-17.) The primary responsibility of a chaperone is to ensure the safety and appropriate behavior of your youth. For the safety of all volunteers in the warehouse, processing center staff reserve the right to ask any group not acting in accordance with safety procedures and outlined policies to leave the building at any time.
What if my child is too young to volunteer?
Children under the age of 13 are not able to volunteer in a Processing Center; however, tours are available throughout the season when families with children under 13 or individuals who want to know more about the project can come to the processing center. The tours help people learn about the journey of a shoebox, what we do at the warehouse, and how they can pray for children receiving boxes. Please contact your local processing center to register for a tour, offered Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at select times.
What is the address of the processing centers?
The locations of our processing centers vary year-to-year, depending on warehouse availability. Address information will be added here once secured.
Atlanta: 425 Horizon Drive Suwanee, GA 30024
Boone: 801 Bamboo Road, Boone NC 28607
Baltimore: 1879 Lamonte Ave Suite A, Odenton, MD 21113
Charlotte: 7100 Forest Point Boulevard, Charlotte NC 28217
Colorado: 18250 E 40th Ave Suite 50 Aurora, CO 80011
Dallas/Fort Worth: 850 North Lake Drive Suite 500 Coppell, TX 75019
Minneapolis: 985 Aldrin Drive Eagan, MN 55121
Southern California: 2722 Michelson Drive Irvine, CA 92612
Addresses at these locations are yet to be determined: Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, and Southern California. Please join us in prayer as we search for and secure Processing Center warehouses in the remaining areas.
What should I wear to the processing centers?
Our processing centers are set up in warehouses, so please make proper provisions to be comfortably and appropriately dressed for this environment. It is best to be prepared with closed-toe shoes appropriate for standing for long periods, and warm, layered, casual clothes as the temperature inside can vary. Breaks are available as needed.
Can I bring food for my group?
You are welcome to take breaks as needed during your time with us. A break area in the processing center has vending machines and space to store your meals and snacks. Ice is not provided; however, you may bring your own coolers. All food and drinks must remain inside the break area. Please be advised that tobacco products are prohibited on the property.
What if the day I’d like to serve is full?
First, join the waiting list for your preferred time, then search for other options available. We typically have the most open time slots during the week and in the evenings. After that, check back throughout the season – time slots open regularly as registered group sizes decrease.