“Let the little children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belong the kingdom of Heaven.”
This year, The Moody Church is excited to 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 shoeboxes. These shoebox gifts 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.
- 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.
- Track your shoebox! For an additional $9 donation you can find out to which country your box is sent. Simply visit Follow Your Box for more information or watch this quick Why $9 video.
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.