This post was originally written in 2012, but has been updated for 2020.

Operation Christmas Child is an amazing part of Samaritan’s Purse which allows kids to get involved in good works in an easy {and effective} way.

We have participated in this program in the past, but this year with the inspiration from BlogFrog, we made a family event out of it. Plus, this year with the pandemic going on, this program is crucial for some families who are struggling all over the world.

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is a non-profit organization that has inspired millions to pack Christmas shoe-box gifts for children in developing countries around the world.  

Operation Christmas Child Facts

Last year in 2019 they collected more that 10.5 million shoebox gifts. 8.9 million of those shoeboxes were collected alone in the US. They’re hoping to gather 11 million this year to help share gifts with even more children.

That is a lot of shoe-boxes since 1993.

Since there are over 2 billion children in the world and half live in poverty, their goal is to reach much higher.  My family is sending 4 gifts through Operation Christmas Child this year and here is how your family can join in on the fun…

Operation Christmas Child Information

You can get your entire family, including your kids involved. It’s important that you remind your children that there are those less fortunate and that it is our job to help them.

There are two easy ways for you to send an Operation Christmas Child shoe-box gift!

At Home:

  1. Use an empty shoe box (standard size) or small plastic container.  If you wrap the box, please wrap the lid separately.
  2. Choose whether your gift will be for a boy or girl and the child’s age category:  2-4, 5-9 or 10-14.  Print out the appropriate label and tape it on your shoe box.
  3. Fill it with gifts!  Toys, school supplies and hygiene items are great additions to your shoe box. Check the Operation Christmas Child guidelines for suggestions and things NOT to include. They also have a list of gift ideas for each age range.
  4. Include a donation of $7 for each shoe box to cover the shipping and project costs.
  5. Drop off!  Place a rubber band around each shoe box and lid and drop it off at the Collection Center nearest your home.  November 16-23, 2020 is the drop off week. 


  1. Go to the Build a Box area on the Operation Christmas Child Website.
  2. Choose to build-a-box, send-a-box, or gift-a-box.  Each option is just $30 and will bless a child.

My Family’s Experience With Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas child donating box with toys and clothes
It is important to give and this program will teach your child about kindness and giving.

We chose the at home option because it sounded like a good way to get my three boys involved in giving.

 For the last few years, each week each boy has put $1 of their allowance in reserve for charity.  We looked at the charity funds and found that each of them had more than $75 available!

Operation Christmas Child Shopping

We hit the stores. First we picked out plastic shoe boxes for each boy.  They decided to pack a gift for a boy their age.

Then they hit the toy aisle.  Each picked out several LEGO sets as their big gift to add to the box.  

Once they had found those, we went to the discount aisle to find school supplies, little gift items,  disposable games and holiday items to fit in between.

As the boys shopped, I found a cute heart-covered plastic shoebox and decided to pack a GIRL box for fun.  

The boys were horrified to see me picking out bracelets, lip gloss, pink LEGOs and girly stuffed animals.  It was a ton of fun to pick out whatever I wanted!

Putting The Shoeboxes Together

Once we were home, we took many of the toys and games out of their original packaging and placed them in plastic bags with the instructions.

 It gave more room to fit in goodies. We added some hotel stolen soaps that I have been collecting over the year and toothbrushes, cotton balls and cotton swabs.  I

also found some cute Nintendo star hard candy tins that had been sent to me for Halloween that we didn’t use.

Teaching An Important Lesson

The entire event captivated my children. They took ownership in every step. The shopping trip without rules {except I read them the Operation Christmas Child guidelines before we went} was a HUGE treat.

 They had money and could buy ANYTHING they wanted to add as long as it would fit in a shoebox. It was a gift to me to see them so excited about giving to others.

Video: Operation Christmas Shoebox Video

Rachel and I hosted a video hangout the other night discussing all the fun our families have had in Operation Christmas Child participation:

We both have had so much fun packing shoe box gifts with our kids!

This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.  

Operation Christmas Child and influencer marketing platform BlogFrog  have teamed up with 200 bloggers like me to spread the word about this great cause.  

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.

Looking For More Charity Information?

How do you choose a charity to support? Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but we can help you choose.

You can also get your children involved in charity by giving them a charity allowance. Half of the money goes to them and half goes to charity.

Help children across the sea with this Street Child Africa charity. It not only helps those who have dealt with Ebola, but helps by improving education in West Africa.

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