Operation Christmas Child: Ideas for your community group

January 23, 2016

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 SamaritansPurse.ca

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.

Step 4: encourage

Encourage your group to include a minimum donation of $10 for each shoebox you prepare to help cover project costs–including shipping.

Step 5: collect

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

National Collection Week is November 12—18, 2018

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)
  • Donate in-kind items to Operation Christmas Child


  • Have an Operation Christmas Child themed birthday party (have attendees bring empty shoeboxes and supply filler items)
  • Have a special shopping day with your children to pick out shoebox gift items
  • Invite your neighbours over for a shoebox packing party

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
  • Have an Operation Christmas Child volunteer speak to the students (call 1-800-303-1269 for more information)
  • Take students on a tour of the Calgary Processing Center in November (call 1-800-303-1269 for more details)

Service groups and others

  • Have an Operation Christmas Child volunteer speak to the group (call 1-800-303-1269 for more information)
  • 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
  • Host a packing party with a local group

Community and seniors centers

  • Host a shoebox gift packing party (supply empty shoeboxes 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 shoebox packing parties or consider additional ideas for your church.

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