2016 Fact Sheet
The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child, uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world.
Since 1993, the Samaritan’s Purse project, Operation Christmas Child, has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories.
In 2016, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 12 million children.
Shoebox gifts are collected in the U.S., Australia, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, and the U.K.
More than 500,000 volunteers worldwide, with more than 150,000 of those in the United States, are involved in collecting, shipping, and distributing shoebox gifts.
Individuals, families, churches and groups fill empty shoeboxes with a “wow” item—like a doll or soccer ball—and other fun toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and notes of encouragement.
During National Collection Week (Nov. 14 – 21) Samaritan’s Purse collects the gift-filled shoeboxes at more than 4,000 drop-off sites in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Operation Christmas Child also offers a year-round opportunity to pack personalized shoeboxes online. Go to samaritanspurse.org/occ to select toys and gift items, write a note of encouragement and “pack” them in a shoebox. These gifts will go to children in some of the hardest-to-reach countries around the world.
Shoebox gifts are prepared for overseas shipment at eight major processing centers across the U.S.—Atlanta; Baltimore; Boone, N.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas; Denver; Minneapolis; and Orange County, Calif.
Samaritan’s Purse and its partners will deliver the gifts to children in more than 100 countries.
Participants can follow their box online to discover where in the world their gift is delivered by using the donation form found at samaritanspurse.org/occ.
More than 7.4 million children have participated in The Greatest Journey, Operation Christmas Child’s follow-up program that is offered to many children who receive shoebox gifts. The Greatest Journey is implemented through a global church network to help children learn how to know and follow Jesus.
For additional media resources, visit samaritanspurse.org/occnewsroom.Return to OCC Media Resources