Each year thousands of people like you generously pack shoebox gifts to bless children in need around the world. Find out all you need to know about how to pack your shoebox gift below.
Covid-19 update: Operation Christmas Child will still be going ahead this year. National Collection Week remains 9-16 November for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales but will move to 5-14 December for England (with the exception of The Entertainer stores which are still open to collect during 9-16 November). Check your nearest Drop-off location here.
Get an empty medium sized shoebox, and wrap the box and lid separately in colourful wrapping paper or order preprinted shoeboxes online. Attach the appropriate boy/girl label, marking if your gift is for a boy or a girl. Select an age category 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14 and attach the label to the top of your shoebox.
Fill your shoebox with a selection of fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies. If possible, include one or two special items you know a child will love such as a doll, cuddly toy or deflated football with pump. See our Gift Suggestions below for more ideas.
A suggested donation of £5 is essential to cover project costs, including shipping, to enable a local church or group overseas to lead a safe, well-organised children's event where your shoebox will be given to a child in need. More detail on what your donation covers here.
Give online at Follow Your Box and you can print out a barcode and place it inside your shoebox on top of the contents. This will enable us to tell you which country your shoebox gets sent to.
Donate Online And Follow Your Box
Or you can enclose cash or cheque (to Samaritan's Purse) and place it in an envelope inside your shoebox on top of the contents. If you are packing multiple shoeboxes you can write a cheque for one combined donation.
Note: Follow Your Box is only available when you donate online.
Personalise your shoebox by including a hand written note and a photograph of yourself, your group or your family. You may also like to pray for the child that will receive your gift.
Place a rubber band around each closed shoebox and take it to a local Drop-off Location.
National Collection Week will be 9-16 November for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 5-14 December for England (with the exception of The Entertainer store which are still open to collect during 9-16 November).
Your nearest Drop-off Location will be listed here, or call 0870 011 2002.
Order leaflets and posters and encourage others to get involved.
Need More Labels?
A full page of printer-friendly boy/girl labels for multiple shoebox gifts.
Need Boxes for a Large Group?
You can purchase pre-printed boxes in sets of 20, 50 or 100.
Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls or cuddly toys, toy trucks, harmonica, yo-yo, skipping rope, ball, small puzzles etc.
Pens, pencils & sharpeners, crayons or felt pens, stamps & ink pad sets, writing pads or notebooks & paper, solar calculators, colouring & picture books etc.
Toothbrush, bars of wrapped soap, comb or hairbrush, flannel.
Due to more stringent import regulations, toothpaste can no longer be included in shoeboxes.
Hat, cap, gloves or scarf, sunglasses, hair accessories, jewellery set, wind up torch, slinky spring, matchbox cars etc.
Due to more stringent import regulations, sweets can no longer be included in shoeboxes.
Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; seeds; sweets, chocolate or food items; toothpaste, lotions or liquids including bubbles; medicines; playing cards of the 4-suit variety; religious or political literature; sharp or fragile items; books with mainly words.
Items packed from this list will be removed from shoeboxes. Read more about this process.
Not sure about an item? Check our FAQs
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