Operation Christmas Child

Important COVID-19 Updates

The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted everyday life for millions of people around the world. Yet, Samaritan’s Purse continues to share the eternal hope of the Gospel and to serve in Jesus’ Name.

We want boys and girls around the world to know that God loves them and has not forgotten them during this time of fear and uncertainty. We are trusting God as we make plans to collect Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes during National Collection Week 9-16 November, 2020. As we look forward to the coming season, we are monitoring local and national guidelines and making adjustments to help protect the health of everyone involved in collecting and processing shoebox gifts.  Please periodically check this page over the coming weeks for regular updates—it’s the best way for you to stay informed.

Every gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread and cause untold suffering, children need great joy now more than ever. Most of all, they need the hope found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you partner with us to share that glorious hope with boys and girls around the world—many of whom have never heard the Name of Jesus? Every gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love. And as children come to faith and are discipled through The Greatest Journey, they tell their friends and family about Christ. As a result, families and communities are transformed, and new churches are planted.

Following local guidelines in each receiving country, we anticipate being able to distribute shoebox gifts internationally and are working with local staff and volunteers.

Another great option to share God’s love is to build a shoebox online. It’s a convenient and personal way to give shoebox gifts directly from home. You make it your own by choosing from a list of gifts, then adding a letter and a photo. We’ll pack it for you and send it off!

Check out some frequently asked questions below. If you still have additional questions, please feel free to email us at occ@samaritans-purse.org.uk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you still be collecting shoebox gifts this season?

Operation Christmas Child plans to collect shoebox gifts during National Collection Week, 9-16 November. Shoebox donors can find their nearest Drop-off Locations from September onwards. The best way to stay up-to-date on any changes this season is by visiting our website, making sure your are signed up to receive emails from us and following our social media channels

We may not be able to host a packing party at our church, impacting the number of boxes we plan to pack. Any suggestions?

We strongly encourage Packing Parties to follow local government guidelines in place. If your church or group shoebox goal is impacted by COVID-19, you may want to consider building a Shoebox online. To learn more or to start building now, please visit our website here: https://shoeboxonline.samaritans-purse.org.uk/

What adjustments will be made to Drop-off Locations to ensure safe collection?

With around 1,000 Drop-off Locations planned in 2020, we understand that each community, town or county may be at different phase of recovery from COVID-19 during National Collection Week. Samaritan’s Purse is developing resources and procedures for Drop-off Locations that will allow them to customize their collection prioritise the safety and well-being of both donors and volunteers. This may range from providing personal protective equipment to developing procedures for reduced handling.

Will there still be volunteer processing at the end of the year? What will you do to ensure social distancing?

Plans are being developed that will allow volunteers to process shoeboxes in a socially distanced manner. Also, where appropriate, personal protective equipment will be available and additional cleaning protocols are being developed for all Processing Centres. We encourage you to check our website here for the latest information.

Are you still moving forward with ministry overseas with Coronavirus, or is it impacting your efforts?

We are continuing ministry overseas. Operation Christmas Child is working directly with our international volunteer leadership teams in over 100 countries to assess ongoing ministry activity with some modifications according to local government guidelines.

Do you need these boxes?

Yes! Now more than ever, children need to have the reassurance that they are loved by God. We believe in the urgency of reaching communities with the eternal hope of the Gospel, especially in these uncertain times. Shoebox gifts – and our follow-up discipleship programme, The Greatest Journey – are powerful tools to share this Good News with millions of people around the world.

If we can’t gather, why would kids be gathering?

The health and safety of our staff, local partners, and beneficiaries is of utmost importance to us. Samaritan’s Purse is constantly monitoring COVID-19 trends around the world. In addition, Operation Christmas Child is working directly with our international volunteer leadership teams in over 100 countries to assess ongoing ministry activity with some modifications according to local government guidelines.

Should participants be shopping for shoebox items during this time?

Samaritan’s Purse and the Operation Christmas Child team encourages everyone to follow local guidelines and use personal discernment to shop for shoebox items. Many stores are opening around the country and online shopping is a popular method for participants.

What’s the best way to get updates?

The best way to stay informed is to stay current on our social media channels and this web page.

Does the virus change what we can or should pack this year?

Although there are some minor changes to what can and cannot go in a box in 2020 none of these are COVID-19 related. We would also encourage all our donors to remember that a shoebox is primarily a fun gift, not an aid box. Likewise we would encourage where possible that donations are made on-line to reduce the risk of virus transmission from cash and cheques.


Build a Shoebox Online

Let us pack a box for you based on gift selections you make.

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