What is Operation Christmas Child?

Operation Christmas Child is a hands-on way for you to bless children in need across the world by filling giftboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies and fun gifts. We collect the boxes and distribute them in the name of Jesus Christ to children living in vulnerable situations.

Mission

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

History

In the summer of 1993, Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham received a call from a man in England asking if he’d be willing to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children in war-torn Bosnia. Franklin agreed, but figured Christmas was months away. He forgot about the promise until he received a call back around Thanksgiving asking about the gifts.

Franklin asked his friend the late Pastor Ross Rhoads of Calvary Church of Charlotte to see if he could help with the need. A Sunday shortly afterward, Pastor Rhoads demonstrated for his congregation how to fill a shoebox with simple gifts and encouraged them to include a letter to the child as well. Within weeks, the church had 11,000 shoeboxes lining their hallways.

Due to their generosity and additional gifts from Canada, Samaritan’s Purse sent 28,000 shoebox gifts to children in the Balkans that Christmas.

Every year since, Samaritan’s Purse has collected shoebox gifts filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children around the world. Since 1993, more than 186 million children in more than 160 countries and territories have received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. The project delivers not only the joy of what, for many kids, is their first gift ever, but also gives them a tangible expression of God’s love.

Tens of thousands of volunteers from local churches around the world partner with us to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ at festive outreach events where children are surprised with these shoebox gifts.

사마리안퍼스 OCC 사역- 선물상자를 받은 캄보디아 아이
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How to Pack an OCC Gift Box

Step 1

Find a Gift Box

Find a shoebox sized gift box. You can pick up your OCC gift box from your participating church or group. You can also order it online.

Step 2

Boy or Girl?

Decide if your gift is for a girl or boy and their age category: 2-4, 5-9, 10-14 yrs old.

*If you're using a gift box that doesn't have a pre-printed label, click below to download & print a boy/girl label

Step 3

Fill Your Gift Box

Select an attention-getting “WOW” item, such as a doll, soccer ball with pump, or stuffed animal. Pack full with other toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.

Step 6

Drop-Off

Take your filled gift box to a participating church or group, a local drop-off location, or return it by mail during National Collection Week, the third week of November.

Step 5

Donate

A Donation of 20,000KRW per box is critical to cover shipping, discipleship material and other project costs. If you haven’t already, you can give online.

Step 4

Pray

Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive the gift box and include a personal note and photo.

Participate • Get Involved

Operation Christmas Child® – Good News. Great Joy.

As Individual

As Individual

Order Gift Box

20,000KRW

Donate 20,000₩ per Gift Box

As Individual

Online Gift Box

As Church • Group

As Church • Group

Order Gift Box & Materials

20,000KRW

Donate 20,000₩ per Gift Box

1. Pray & Set Goal
(January – September)

• Please pray for God’s guidance and leadership as you set the goal of how many gift boxes you hope to collect this year as a group.
• We strongly recommend that you organize prayer team within church or group for OCC ministry & for the children who will receive gift boxes.
• Decide on the strategy and number of weeks for promotion.

2. Register & Order Materials Online
(July – November)

• Click Register & Order Materials Online button above.
1. Submit Participation Form online and Order Gift Boxes and Promotional Material online. Gift boxes are sets of 50.
2. Promotional items are automatically calculated and provided free of charge according to the number of gift boxes ordered. See Items List
3. Choose a delivery date between August 1st and November 15th for convenient delivery. Before November 1st is recommended to ensure you receive your materials on time.

3. Promote OCC to your church/group
(September – November)

• Introduce the Operation Christmas Child ministry and how to participate to your church/group
• Show Operation Christmas Child 2021 Overview video or other OCC videos to group members
• Build an OCC promotional display and information table
• Additional resources are available online.
• Distribute “How to Pack a Gift Box” brochures to everyone within the group and introduce OCC process to participate.
• Distribute gift boxes, postcard, and rubber band to participants.
• Inform due dates to your group members
• Tell your group members how to make the 20,000KRW financial donations.

4. COLLECT & RETURN THE GIFT BOX
National Collection Week 3rd Week of Nov.
November 15-22, 2021

• Collect gift-filled boxes on or before National Collection Week.
• Churches may designate “Celebration Sunday” and pray together for the children that will receive the gift boxes
• Pack the gift boxes into master cartons (16 boxes for each carton)
• Deliver the cartons to the official OCC Drop-off Location or Processing Center.
• If you’ve chosen to collect the financial donation and individual donor information as a group, please send the 20,000 won financial donations for each gift box along with individual donor information by Nov. 30th.

Before these special gift boxes can bring hope and joy to children around the world, each one must be carefully inspected to make sure the items are appropriate. Volunteers assist in preparing these OCC gifts boxes for overseas shipment. ​

You can be a part of the preparation process by volunteering as a group or individual at a Processing Center! Please refer to the website for additional information.

As the Operation Christmas Child program develops in Korea, we will provide year-round volunteer opportunities including promotion, collection, church mobilization, and prayer. These are important and meaningful roles that allow both the ministry to grow and people to serve the Lord through their respective gifts.​

Please refer to our volunteer page for additional details.

Drop-off Location

Operation Christmas Child® – Good News. Great Joy.

Processing Center

Processing Center Address: Building A-Dock 5, 82, Beonyeong-ro, Gunpo-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea | Korea Integrated Freight Terminal, Samaritan’s Purse Korea Processing Center

Every box is an opportunity to reach a child with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Franklin Graham
President, Samaritan's Purse

VIDEOS

OCC STORY

OCC GIFT BOXES FROM SOUTH KOREA NOW IN THE HANDS OF MONGOLIAN CHILDREN

In the winter of 2020, about 30 churches and schools in South Korea participated in making gift boxes and Samaritan’s Purse collected about 3,000 gift boxes...

READ STORY

OCC STORY

PHOTOS

Volunteers

By serving year-round or seasonally with Samaritan’s Purse through Operation Christmas Child, you will be a part of proclaiming the Gospel in more than 100 countries.

Another opportunity is to be a processing center volunteer during October and November. Help us prepare shoeboxes for shipping and distribution.

Be a part of carefully inspecting gift boxes at our processing center! It's the last stop before international shipment.

Processing Center Volunteer

Before the millions of gift boxes collected each year can bring hope and joy to children around the world, each one has to be carefully inspected and made ready for international shipment by volunteers like you. Tens of thousands of volunteers serve annually at gift box processing centers across the world. Whether you’re interested in serving as an individual or with a group of any size, sign up now to have a direct part in blessing children overseas with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Processing Center Location

Building A, 4th floor, 82, Beonyeong-ro, Gunpo-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea | Korea Integrated Freight Terminal 031-460-2488 / 02-2105-1800

Year-round volunteers with Operation Christmas Child are part of a local team that promotes and fosters community involvement with this global Samaritan’s Purse project.

Volunteer Year-Round

By serving year-round with Samaritan’s Purse through Operation Christmas Child, you will be a part of proclaiming the Gospel in more than 100 countries. Use your talents and abilities together with other volunteers around the world to bring Good News and great joy to children in need and their families through gift boxes.

Benefits

Walk through an application process to ensure placement in the role best suited for you. Serve on a team with others – right where you live now! Dynamic training from Samaritan’s Purse, designed to develop you for ministry. Exclusive conferences complete with worship, workshops, and networking opportunities. Online courses designed especially for your role.

What role might be a fit?

Please consider serving in one of the following roles below

Leadership Roles

Our leadership roles focus on building teams of volunteers through recruiting, selecting, equipping, leading, and developing in order to multiply the impact of Operation Christmas Child around the world.

Church Relations

As a Church Relations team member, build and cultivate relationships with local Christian churches and work to mobilize, equip, and encourage churches in your community to share the hope of Jesus Christ and fulfill the Great Commission through Operation Christmas Child.

Community Relations

As part of the Community Relations team, use your gifts as an ambassador in your community–engage, mobilize, and equip groups, businesses, and civic organizations to become actively involved in sharing the hope of Jesus Christ through Operation Christmas Child.

Logistics

This position utilizes the gifts of organization, planning, and hospitality to welcome and host shoebox contributors at local collection sites. This opportunity allows you to mobilize short-term volunteers and coordinate the shoebox collection at your church as a drop-off location.

Media Support

Media Support volunteers are the voice for Operation Christmas Child in the local community. In this role, you have the opportunity to use the power of your own voice, pen, or personality to promote the ministry through local print, radio, and television outlets.

Prayer

The power of prayer is a vital part of all we do at Operation Christmas Child. On the Prayer team, you get to provide consistent intercessory prayer support for all areas of ministry for your local Area Team, and all areas of Operation Christmas Child activity.

Pray

  • Pray for Operation Christmas Child

    As we discover how God will work through these shoeboxes, may we always keep our eyes on Him. Prayer is another important way to partner with OCC and be a part of the ministry.

    Dr. Billy Graham, renowned evangelist and the father of Franklin Graham, was once asked by a young evangelist,

    “What are the most important steps for a successful ministry?”

    Dr. Graham’s replied: “There were three things that mattered most,”

    “Prayer, Prayer And Prayer.”

    Prayer is our best weapon of offense and defense, and our ministry begin and end with prayer. Join us as we ask for God’s hand on all aspects of Operation Christmas Child.

    “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 NKJV

  • The Korean Churches and Local Volunteers

    Please pray that Operation Christmas Child may become a missional opportunity for many Korean churches.

    Please pray for the Korean churches involved in Operation Christmas Child that they would find joy and become strengthened as a community as they partner for the Great Commission.

    Pray that God will raise up next generation leaders who are keen to serve Him and further His kingdom through the ministry of Operation Christmas Child.

    Pray for safety and protection for the numerous volunteers who help collect, transport, and process each OCC gift box

  • The Children and Countries Receiving OCC Gift Boxes

    Pray that God will meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the children who receive OCC gift boxes and their families who are living in desperate circumstances, suffering from poverty, sickness, war, or the effects of natural disaster.

    Pray for the hundreds of international volunteers who receive and distribute the gift boxes.

    Pray that the OCC gift boxes are an effective ministry tool that opens many doors in countries that are not receptive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Pray for the implementation of the follow-up discipleship program, The Greatest Journey, that it would open up the hearts of many to receive God’s love and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

    With the ongoing challenges brought by COVID-19, please pray for safety and protection of the children and staff involved in distributing the OCC gift boxes.

    “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV

COVID-19 Concerns

Samaritan’s Purse continues to plan for a traditional processing season with volunteers, but we understand disease trends may prevent this from occurring. In this case, contingency plans are being developed that would still allow volunteers to process shoeboxes even if social distance restrictions are needed.
Yes! Operation Christmas Child plans to collect shoebox gifts during National Collection Week, Nov. 16–23, 2020. Now more than ever, children need to have the reassurance that they are loved by God. We believe in the urgency of reaching communities with the eternal hope of the Gospel, especially in these uncertain times. Shoebox gifts—and our follow-up discipleship program, The Greatest Journey—are powerful tools to share this Good News with millions of people around the world. The best way to stay up-to-date on any changes this season is by continuing to check this page.
We are continuing ministry overseas. Operation Christmas Child is working directly with our international volunteer leadership teams in over 100 countries to assess ongoing ministry activity with some modifications according to local government guidelines.
The best way to stay informed is to stay current on our social media channels and to continue checking this page.

SNS를 통해서 새로운 정보를 받아 보실 수 있습니다.

Instagram: @sp_kor
Youtube: youtube.com/samaritanspurse.or.kr

About Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. Our mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We ship these simple gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine, and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the U.S.
The program was started in the United Kingdom in 1990 by Dave and Jill Cooke. Three years after this beginning, the Wales-based shoebox gift project merged in a partnership with Samaritan’s Purse, allowing us to share 20 years of expertise in relief and aid work with the project, and expand the reach of the shoebox gifts to more than 28,000 children that year. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 168 million children in more than 100 countries.
Shoebox gifts—and our follow-up discipleship program, The Greatest Journey—are powerful tools to share the Good News with millions of people around the world. We believe in the urgency of reaching communities with the eternal hope of the Gospel, and gifts are a great way to open the hearts of children and share the good news of Jesus Christ.
The shoebox gifts are shipped out from our processing centers by the middle of December, and depending on the distance they must travel, some are delivered by Christmas—primarily those in Central/South America and Eastern Europe. Most of the gifts are sent via ship. Although the collection of Operation Christmas Child gifts is during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, the delivery of some gifts is sometimes delayed due to international shipping. They may not clear customs in receiving countries until spring. In addition, many countries that receive the gifts must transport the gifts to rural areas using very poor roads. Distributions typically occur from late December through spring each year, extending the joy of Christmas to children that receive them!
Operation Christmas Child is unable to facilitate this; however, if you are contacted by your recipient child, you may be able to build a relationship with them.
Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child seek to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way through each shoebox gift. One of our core values is to never be manipulative. We work in and through local volunteers in each country that understand their context and are respectful to the people they serve. At the same time, we do seek to share the Gospel wherever we go, which can be challenging at times. In some regions, we are not permitted to distribute literature, but we are still grateful for the opportunity to bless the children with gift boxes carefully prepared by people who love children. Boys and girls do not have to do or say anything to receive their gifts.

Packing Your Shoebox

Everything you need to learn how to pack a shoebox gift can be found here.

You can use any shoebox, cardboard or plastic. Operation Christmas Child also has red-and-green boxes that are also available to order now.

Do not include anything that will expire, might damage the gift, or harm the child. Expire- Food, candy, soap, toothpaste – anything with an expiration date Damage the gift- liquids, lotions, breakables, used items Harm the child – sharp objects, war related, money, medications or vitamins
No, they do not need to be wrapped as the gift box is the traditional way they’re handed out to the children. Since the gift boxes need to be processed first anyways, we ask that you do not add additional wrapping or packaging elements to them.
You will have the ability to track your gift box once you order it from the website. If you don’t receive your gift box within 10 days, please contact the Operation Christmas Child office at 02-2105-1800.
The average OCC gift box consists of 10-20 items and usually cost a total of 30,000 KRW on average. There isn’t a min or max limit to how much is spent on the gift box, but we ask for each gift box to be full of quality items. Our prayer is that when a child opens their box, they can tangibly experience the personal love of Christ through the donor’s generosity.
The 20,000 KRW donation is critical for Operation Christmas Child to collect, process, and ship OCC gift boxes to more than 100 countries. It also provides for each child’s ministry materials such as The Greatest Gift Gospel Booklet, the Ministry Partner Guide, the Greatest Journey Discipleship Material, and New Testament Bible. The 20,000 KRW also covers the cost of mailing empty gift boxes to each donor.
We will be collecting boxes during National Collection Week, the third week in November (November 16-23rd). A list of official drop-off locations will be posted on the website as soon as possible. Participants may also send completed boxes to 서울시 강서구 강서로 56가길 166, 203동 지하1층 (02-2105-1800).
Countries vary from year to year. In 2020, most of the shoebox gifts sent from Korea will go to Mongolia, Philippines, or Cambodia.
Our goal is to collect and distribute millions of shoebox gifts in over 100 countries this year. Because of the tremendous growth of Operation Christmas Child, the logistics involved in collecting, processing, and distributing this many boxes prevent us from designating specific boxes for certain countries or climates according to the contents. We can assure you, however, that whoever receives your box will need and appreciate your gift.

If you prefer not to physically pack an OCC Gift box, you can fund a gift box online. By making a donation of 50,000 KRW you can choose the age and gender of the child and we will pack it for you. You can access “Fund an OCC Gift Box” here.

If you are participating through your local church, please return your gift to your local church. Other official drop-off locations are also open across the country during National Collection Week, the third week in November every year, to drop off shoeboxes.
We do accept shoebox gifts at our Samaritan’s Purse Korea office year-round. They can be mailed to 서울시 강서구 강서로 56가길 166, 203동 지하1층 (02-2105-1800)

Volunteering with OCC

Volunteers can sign- up to inspect shoeboxes and help with other needs at the processing center. Most of the other volunteer roles will be fulfilled by church members of partnering churches for the first year.
More information to come soon.
You can manage your reservation by contacting us at ____. 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.
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 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.
Yes, please contact us at 02-2105-1800.
Processing centers are open late November to mid-December to prepare gifts for international shipping.
All volunteers must be at least 13 years of age. 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.
The locations of our processing centers vary year-to-year, depending on warehouse availability. Address information will be added to this page once secured
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.
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.
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.

Global Influence of Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is a global program facilitated through hundreds of thousands of trained volunteers. Local believers in more than 100 countries deliver Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts, present the Gospel, and facilitate our follow-up discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. With this approach, local Christians who know the culture and language best are given effective resources with a solid biblical foundation to share the Gospel in their communities. We equip ministry partners—a local pastor or church leader—to be our volunteer representatives by providing thorough, detailed training for them to be able to facilitate a shoebox outreach event and present the Gospel. Trained National Leadership Team members, ministry partners, and The Greatest Journey teachers are volunteer roles filled exclusively by these national Christians. To learn more about these roles, visit our Volunteer Network page.
The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to provide local churches who are our ministry partners around the world with shoebox gifts as a way to reach children in their communities. For many children, this is the first gift they will ever receive. More important than the items inside the shoebox, the gifts are an opportunity to share God’s love—and the Good News of Jesus Christ—with children in need. In each shoebox receiving country, we partner with a volunteer National Leadership Team that consists of year-round volunteers from various church denominations. Together, they strategize how to reach children in their country with the Gospel. It is our desire to give one shoebox to a child in their lifetime, and this is the model used in our training. Local churches distribute shoebox gifts to children in different communities each year. Because of this strategy, the economic impact on a community is minimal which allows us to reach millions of new children every year with the Good News of Jesus Christ and disciple many, with millions now sharing their faith with their friends, family, and beyond. According to Henry Manthanamba, Operation Christmas Child prayer coordinator in Malawi, “If shoebox gifts impacted our local economy negatively, the government would never allow them. They see it as a blessing to the children of Malawi.”
In more than 100 receiving countries, shoebox gifts are used by local Christians as a strategy for evangelism, discipleship, and the multiplication of believers and churches in their communities. More important than the items inside the shoebox, the gifts are an opportunity to share God’s love—and the Good News of Jesus Christ—with children in need. Local Christians who know the culture and language best are given effective resources in their own language and a solid Biblical foundation so that they can communicate the Gospel within their own communities through shoebox outreach events and The Greatest Journey discipleship program. For example, in Fiji, a pastor hosted an Operation Christmas Child shoebox outreach event in a rural community that had no church. He then invited the children to attend The Greatest Journey follow-up discipleship program. As the students gathered for the discipleship lessons, their parents grew curious and began attending too. The village elder became a believer and offered his property as a place for the new church to meet. Today 80 people attend regularly, and five additional churches have been started in surrounding villages! This is one example of hundreds of churches planted annually as a result of Operation Christmas Child in regions where we work. The evangelism and discipleship resources utilized by Operation Christmas Child were intentionally developed with input from local believers in 16 countries, from six continents, and are specifically focused on children. In the 11 countries where shoebox gifts are packed, Operation Christmas Child provides an opportunity for participants to be a part of fulfilling the Great Commission. Jesus said “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). In this church-to-church ministry model, churches who pack shoebox gifts partner with local churches around the world who share God’s love with children in need and disciple them through The Greatest Journey.
More than 75,000 pastors and church leaders share the Gospel every year at outreach events where shoebox gifts are delivered. The shoebox outreach events are planned and implemented by volunteers in the local church who know the culture and language best. Through our volunteer National Leadership Team, local believers are trained to present the Gospel in a child friendly way. We work with the volunteer National Leadership Team to develop an annual strategy for evangelism, discipleship, and multiplication of believers and churches in their communities.
Shoebox gifts are given to children regardless of their gender, ethnicity, or faith. We seek to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way through each shoebox gift. Children do not have to do or say anything to receive the gifts. We work in and through local Christians in each country who understand the context in their area. Simple gifts—packed with love in Jesus’ Name—deliver hope and joy to children all around the world, regardless of their faith or religious background.
Operation Christmas Child is not intended as a solution for meeting physical needs, but rather a strategy for the local church to meet spiritual needs of children in their communities. The unexpected gift delights and sparks hope in the life of a child as they hear of Jesus’ love for them. Shoebox gifts are given freely in Jesus’ Name.

Local Ministry

Shoeboxes are distributed by volunteers from the National Leadership Team, who are trained and discipled to organize and lead outreach events. The gifts are distributed to the children at these events, which are often held at local churches.
Various individuals and church leaders volunteer to serve as part of the National Leadership Team of each receiving country. Often, these members are teachers, young adults, parents etc. who have a heart to serve and share the Gospel to these children. National Leadership Teams train local church partners on how to distribute shoeboxes, share the Gospel, and disciple children effectively.
The Greatest Journey is a discipleship experience offered by local churches to many of the children who receive shoebox gifts. The 12-lesson program introduces boys and girls to salvation through faith in Christ and encourages them to grow as faithful followers. This connects children to local churches who can, through discipling relationships, teach and nurture the children in faith.
TGG and TGJ may be translated into Korean one day for the Korean churches to use as part of their Sunday school program. However, they will be used primarily for the children in the receiving countries for the time being.

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