Ideas for your community group

Ideas for community groups, businesses, and schools as you pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Step 1: get ready!

Order shoeboxes, brochures, and promotional items from 


Step 2: Get set!

Share with your group how to pack shoeboxes and inspire them by watching inspiring videos and reading powerful impact stories.


Step 3: GO pack!

Set a goal for your group, pack boxes, and pray for each recipient child.

Check out our packing party guide


Step 4: encourage

Encourage your group to include a minimum donation of $7 inside each shoebox to help cover shipping and other project costs.


Step 5: collect

Collect the packed shoeboxes, deliver them to a local collection centre and thank your group for helping to share the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ--—God’s greatest gift.


National Collection Week is November 14 - 20, 2016


This year, Operation Christmas Child reached its goal to collect and give 100 million shoebox gifts! Join us in this amazing ministry -- below are some ways that your community group can bless children overseas through gift-filled shoeboxes.


  • Have all employees pack shoebox gifts
  • Promote Operation Christmas Child as a charitable portion of your Christmas party
  • Create a store aisle especially for Operation Christmas Child shoebox shopping
  • Ask customers or patients to drop off items for shoeboxes
  • Place brochures in customer bags
  • Have an Operation Christmas Child volunteer speak to employees (call 1.800.303.1269 for more information)
  • Work with a local church to hold a community-wide packing party
  • Pack online shoeboxes in honor of your employees
  • Host an Operation Christmas Child lunch (employees can bring empty shoeboxes and filler items, or the business can provide the filler items)


Schools or home schools

  • Use Operation Christmas Child as an opportunity to learn about and pray for children of other cultures, languages, and world religions 
  • Choose a shoebox destination countries to study (research the customs, flag, geography, and current events, and invite someone from one of the countries to make a presentation to your class)
  • Promote Operation Christmas Child as a charitable portion of your Christmas season
  • Have students donate shoebox items
  • Pack shoeboxes as a class/school or encourage a packing party
  • Each child can fill out and color a Let's Be Friends! (PDF) page to include in his or her shoebox
  • Have an Operation Christmas Child volunteer speak to the students (call 1.800.303.1269 for more information)
  • Take students on a tour of a Processing Center (Calgary or the Waterloo Region) in November (call 1.800.303.1269 for more details)

Service groups and others

  • Have an Operation Christmas Child volunteer speak to the group
  • Promote Operation Christmas Child as a charitable portion of your Christmas party 
  • Ask group members to pack shoebox gifts and bring them to a meeting during National Collection Week
  • Have group members donate shoebox filler items
  • Host a packing party with members
  • Promote Operation Christmas Child as the charitable portion of an annual event your group hosts

For community events

  • Host an Operation Christmas Child exhibit at local festivals and celebrations
  • Make an Operation Christmas Child float for the town's annual parade
  • Set out Operation Christmas Child brochures at a community sporting event (call 1.800.303.1269 to order promotional materials)
  • Ask people to bring shoeboxes as admission to a popular community event
  • Encourage church members to donate one item each month to be used for shoebox gifts (see the Top 100 items that make perfect additions to any shoebox)
  • Host a packing party with a local group
  • Give personal invitations wherever possible, or create a door-hanger invitation which includes a brief explanation of Operation Christmas Child and a list of appropriate shoebox items

Community and seniors centers

  • Host a shoebox gift packing party (supply empty shoeboxes or shoebox-sized plastic boxes for every attendee and ask people to bring filler items for their boxes to share with each other)
  • Invite an Operation Christmas Child staff person or trained volunteer to speak about the project (call 1.800.303.1269 for more information)
  • Have members write personal notes to the children who will receive their shoebox gifts

Find out more about Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing parties or consider additional ideas for your church. Download the packing party guide (PDF)

If you have a new idea for how community groups can bless children overseas by packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, email it to so we can share it with others!

Ways you can help


Pray that every child who receives an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift will hear and know how much God loves them.


Help Samaritan’s Purse go beyond the shoebox and expand assistance to children, their families, and their communities. Donate Here