Operation Christmas Child®
Good News. Great Joy.
What is Operation Christmas Child?
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse that shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ with children around the world, including hard-to-reach areas, in partnership with local churches and ministries. We invite children to a Gospel-focused outreach event organized by local churches and give each boy and girl a gift box prepared by people like you as a tangible expression of God’s love.
Many of the children participate in our 12-week discipleship program, The Greatest Journey, where they learn to follow Jesus and tell others about Him.
By taking part in Operation Christmas Child and packing a gift box, you can take part in starting churches in places throughout the world where the Gospel has not yet been reached.
The Journey of a Gift Box
Collection of Gift Boxes
Inspection and Processing
Training Local Churches
Share the Gospel to Children around the World
"I experienced the living God through a pair of shoes!"
Hello, my name is Kwale and I’m 13 years old. I live in Tanzania. I needed shoes to go to school, but my family couldn’t afford them. Every time I went to school barefoot, I was so embarrassed. My friends made fun of me and my teachers sent me away. But my mom told me, “Don’t give up. Let’s continue praying to God.”
Then one day, I received an Operation Christmas Child gift box at church. I was surprised when I opened the gift box. The first thing I saw were shoes, and they were just my size! Kwale made the decision to follow Christ as his Savior during The Greatest Journey class, later volunteering to become one of its teachers. Kwale’s father was so moved by this that he, too, gave his heart to the Lord.
The Miracle of a Small Gift Box
Gift boxes collected worldwide in 2021
Gift boxes collected in Korea in 2021
Countries that receive gift boxes for boys and girls
Languages into which the Gospel materials have been translated
Join us on The Greatest Journey
The Greatest Journey, the follow-up discipleship program Samaritan’s Purse developed for gift box recipients, teaches children how to follow Christ and share Him with others. Taught by trained local teachers, the course equips students to follow Christ for a lifetime. Graduates receive a certificate and their own New Testament Bible-often a first for them or their families.
The Greatest Journey
Week 1 - 6 Know the Gospel
Week 7 - 9 Grow in the Gospel
Week 10 - 12 Share the Gospel
How to Pack an OCC Gift Box
Obtain a Gift Box
People can participate in Operation Christmas Child by either receiving an empty gift box from their participating church/group or ordering boxes online from the Samaritan’s Purse Korea website. You also can use a similar-sized gift box of your own.
Decide if your gift will be for a girl or boy and the age category: ages 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Also be sure to mark these categories on your box.
Fill Your Gift Box
Be sure to include an attention-getting “wow” item and quality gifts that will fill the child with joy, including toys, personal care items, and school supplies. (Suggested Gift Items)
Drop Off Your Gift Box
Take your packed gift box to your participating church or group, or return it by mail to the address labeled on the return bag included in the participation kit.
A donation of 20,000 KRW per box is critical to cover shipping, discipleship material, and other project costs. For individuals participating with their church or group, you can turn in your donation and for those participating on their own, you can make your donation online through the website.
Pray and Write a Letter
Please remember to pray for the child receiving the gift and also write a note of encouragement on the postcard enclosed in the participant kit. You can also include a photo of you or your family or group who prepared the gift(optional).
Participate in Operation Christmas Child
Order Gift Boxes (Free)
You will be sent empty OCC gift boxes for you to pack and return to us
Please note that gift boxes will be mailed out from September 1st and November 7th is the last day to order gift boxes.
Make a Donation
You can participate in the ministry by donating to Operation Christmas Child and covering the cost to pack gift boxes.
20,000 KRW for OCC Gift Box
Covers the shipping fees for one child to receive a gift box and discipleship program costs.
Number of OCC Gift Boxes
40,000 KRW for OCC Gift Box
Covers the cost for Samaritan’s Purse to pack a gift box for you instead and send it to a child in a hard-to-reach region.
Number of OCC Gift Boxes
How to Return Packed OCC Gift Boxes
You can return your packed gift boxes by filling out the “OCC Gift Box Pick-Up” form (available from October 21st) and requesting for a free pick-up. If you would like to return the gift boxes directly to Samaritan’s Purse Korea, then please mark this on the form and mail it to the address below:
Samaritan’s Purse Korea Processing Center
Yehan Church 2F Seoul Songpa-gu Olympic-ro 417 ZIP Code: 05507
Please send your packed gift box to the address below by using the return bag in your participation kit (shipping fee not covered).
Samaritan’s Purse Korea (Doosol Warehouse)
145 Padam-ro, Mohyun-myeon, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
History of the OCC Gift Box
In the summer of 1993, 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, Pastor Ross Rhoads to see if he could help with the need. Shortly afterwards, Pastor Rhoads shared this with his congregation and encouraged them to fill shoeboxes, including 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 was able to send 28,000 shoebox gifts to children in the Balkans that Christmas. Every year since, Samaritan’s Purse has collected gift boxes filled with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items for children around the world. This 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.
- Franklin Graham, International President of Samaritan’s Purse -
Stories & Media Resources
Videos, Stories, Photos
Volunteer with Operation Christmas Child
Processing Center Volunteers
Once collected, OCC gift boxes are always inspected and carefully processed to ensure that the gifts inside are suitable for children and ready to be shipped. Every year, many churches and organizations volunteer and join us at the processing center to remove any inappropriate items and fill the gift boxes with additional gifts.
This year, volunteering at the processing center will take place from December 2 – 10. If you would like to volunteer, please fill out the sign-up form (available from Sept 23rd) and join us in this ministry to share the Gospel around the world through OCC gift boxes. You can choose your preferred time slot (am/pm) to volunteer as an individual or as a group.
*For those who would like to participate in groups of 20 or more, please email us at [email protected] to sign up and save your spot.
We are always looking for volunteers with different gifts to promote Operation Christmas Child, mobilize churches, pray, and support the ministry in other ways. We are currently developing a program for year-round volunteers and plan to recruit volunteers for mobilizing churches and communities, planning logistics, media, and in other areas as well. If you are interested, please sign-up for the Samaritan’s Purse Korea newsletter by clicking on the link below and stay tuned for more information to come.
Join us in Prayer
We look forward to God’s work being carried out all over the world through OCC gift boxes. Prayer is a pivotal part of the life-changing experience of a child receiving a gift box and another way to participate in the ministry. Join us in prayer!
“What’s the key to a successful ministry?”
Billy Graham was frequently asked this question by young pastors. Each time, Billy Graham responded in the following way:
“The three most important things you can do are to pray, pray, pray!”
The whole process of the Operation Christmas Child ministry begins and ends with prayer. This is because prayer is the most important thing that we can do. Partner with us as a prayer partner for God’s will to be done through OCC gift boxes. For individuals interested in signing-up as a prayer partner, please click the link below. We will send you monthly prayer requests and invite you to both online and in-person prayer meetings.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6 NIV)
Frequently Asked Questions
Subscribe To Our Newsletter And Never Miss Another Update