Christmas is a time of giving

Operation Christmas Child

Christmas is the time of year when we celebrate and remember the gift of Jesus to a world that desperately needs a savior.  His birth, ministry, death and resurrection are what gives us the eternal hope that moves us to serve our Lord and the teachings that defines what it means to “love our neighbor.”

That's why for the last several years we have encouraged our members to pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. It is a wonderful way to share God’s love with the children of the world! Each shoebox is unique and filled with gifts to offer encouragement, fun and joy — and you can choose to personally fill your own shoebox or build your shoebox online!

Our goal is to pack or build 500 shoeboxes this Christmas!

Empty shoeboxes will be available beginning Sunday, September 11. Supplies are limited so be sure to pick up your box early! The deadline to return your filled shoeboxes is Sunday, November 13.

What is Operation Christmas Child?

Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. Their 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. These simple gifts are shipped 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 them 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 146 million children in more than 100 countries.

How do I pack and prepare my shoebox?

The Operation Christmas Child website offers some great tips and suggestions on what to pack in each box. That said, it is important that you:

  1. Maximize space in your box (remove toys from the packaging).
  2. Refrain from giving toys that are “war-related” such as guns, knives or military figures.
  3. Avoid liquids or anything that can spill, burst, melt or break during shipping.
  4. Avoid anything that can be eaten or mistaken as food (play-dough, chocolate, candies, fruit rolls, silly putty, etc.).
  5. Purchase items with some “lasting power.” Most children will only get one Operation Christmas Child shoebox in their lifetime and it’s possible that the washcloths or soccer balls that you provide will not be replaced for a very long time.
If you choose to pack your own shoebox, the cost to ship is $10/box.

The deadline to return your filled shoebox is Sunday, Nov. 13.

Boxes will be shipped out early Monday, November 14.

Can I pack my shoebox online?

Yes! If it’s easier for you to pack your shoebox online we encourage you to do so. The Operation Christmas Child website makes is quick, easy and secure so we invite you to explore this option. The cost to build a shoebox online is $25/per box and you can absolutely customize it! (Or allow the folks at Samaritan’s Purse build it for you.)

To start, just visit the Worthington Christian Church ‘Build a Shoebox‘ page and click the green “Build a Shoebox Online Now” button. You will have the option to build the box yourself OR have the professions at Samaritan’s Purse build it for you.

If you choose to build the box yourself you will be able to pick the gender and age of the child you would like to pack a box for and choose the various gifts to include. At the end, you will be asked to pay for the items and the cost of shipping ($25).

That’s it!

The deadline to build a shoebox online is Sunday, Dec. 25.