“Let the little children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belong the kingdom of Heaven.”
The Moody Church is excited to again partner with Samaritan’s Purse for their Operation Christmas Child (OCC) campaign. OCC’s mission is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to show His love in a tangible way to children in need. Since 1993, more than 188 million children in more than 170 countries have received OCC shoebox gifts. These shoeboxes are not only tangible expressions of God’s love, but for many kids, the first gift they’ve ever received. Volunteers from local churches around the world partner with OCC to present the gospel of Jesus Christ at festive outreach events where children are surprised with these shoebox gifts. The children are also invited to participate in a twelve-lesson discipleship program that includes Bible stories and Scripture memorization. Since 2009 over 26.5 million children have enrolled, and 12.5 million of these boys and girls have decided to follow Christ during the program.
What Is a Shoebox Gift?
An Operation Christmas Child gift is an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox filled with gifts for a boy or a girl in a specific age range (2–4, 5–9, or 10–14), costing in total about $25. It starts with a “wow” item such as a stuffed animal, soccer ball with pump, or clothing outfit that will capture the child’s attention the instant he or she opens the box. Then the rest of the box is filled with other gifts, such as fun toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and even a personal note. Please see the FAQs below for more details.
From October 23 to November 20, our goal is to provide shoeboxes for 1,000 children, many of whom are in unreached people groups. Each box costs roughly $25 to fill, and provides not only a special gift, but the opportunity for the child to hear the gospel. We’re hoping to provide “traditional” shoeboxes and online boxes, so you can participate in whichever way works best for you. See below how to get involved!
How Can I Get Involved?
- BUILD YOUR OWN “TRADITIONAL” SHOEBOX
Pick up a pre-printed box at The Moody Church or use an average-size box you already have, then drop off your box at the church once it’s full. Visit here for a list of suggested items (and a list of items that are not permitted!). Boxes are due at the church by SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20.
- BUILD A SHOEBOX ONLINE
Visit our Build a Shoebox Page. For a $25 donation ($10 shipping extra), OCC will fill a shoebox on your behalf with the items you select, then ship it to a child. You can personalize your gift by uploading a photo of yourself and writing a note to the child who will receive it.
- Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes can be picked up at the church. If you are using your own shoebox, feel free to wrap it, but please wrap the box lid separately.
- Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, 10-14.
- Fill it with gifts! Select a “wow” item such as a soccer ball with a pump or a stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies. See Official Shoebox Gift Suggestions for a full list of suggested items for each age category by gender. This short Shoebox Gift Suggestions Video will also help guide your gift giving.
- Label your box! Use the adhesive label that came with your pre-printed box or print this page and cut out a label to tape to your box. Affix your marked label to the top of your box so that OCC staff will know who the box can be given to.
- Personalize your gift! Include a photo and write a note, which can be anything from a passage of Scripture to a prayer. You can include your return address. Some pen-pal relationships have started as a result of the shoebox gifts.
- PRAY! Pray for the child who will receive your gift. Pray that the Lord would use your gift to bring that child to saving faith in Christ.
- Want to help cover shipping? For $10, you can help with the shipping costs to send shoeboxes around the world. You can give online here through Operation Christmas Child or through Moody Church here (check/cash also accepted, just be sure to note “Operation Christmas Child” in the memo line).
- Want to track your box? Use one of the labels with a QR code and follow the instructions to discover its destination!
Operation Christmas Child sends boxes to over 170 countries and territories. While you cannot choose the country to which your box is sent, here is a list of Shoebox Receiving Countries.
After receiving a shoebox gift, many children are invited back to participate in a discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. Through a 12-lesson course, which includes Bible stories and Scripture memorization, they learn to follow Christ in their daily lives as they share Him with friends and family. More than 26.5 million children have enrolled in this program since 2009 and over 12.5 million have made a profession of faith in Christ.