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.

Shoebox Packing
Digital Resources
Drop-off Locations
Processing Centres

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. 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?

We’re looking forward to a great Operation Christmas Child season as we prayerfully consider ways to modify our collection and processing in light of COVID-19. We are already monitoring local and national guidelines and making adjustments to help protect the health of those involved in preparing shoebox gifts.

Shoebox Packing—Traditional & Online

We are grateful you plan to join us this year in packing traditional boxes, building a shoebox online, or both.  With careful modifications to shoebox packing we can ensure that children around the world are still blessed with great joy and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

National Collection Week is 9-16 November, 2020. 

Digital Resources for Churches and Groups

Build a Shoebox Online

Let us pack a box for you based on gift selections you make.  You can even include a note and photo to personalise your gift.

Start Building


Greater Opportunities for Shoeboxes

Franklin Graham encourages supporters to pack more Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoeboxes than ever before as the global pandemic is creating greater opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus with children around the world.

2020 Campaign Film

A simple shoebox gift packed with love and fuelled by prayer can have a huge impact! Watch how Operation Christmas Child brings Good News and great joy to children around the world.

Build a Shoebox Online

Customisable Media Slides

Use this editable slide with an image of shoebox recipients to inform your church or group know when you’ll be packing boxes together.

National Collection Week Promotional Slide


Drop-off Locations

Samaritan’s Purse plans to collect shoebox gifts in hundreds of locations across the U.K this year, with each one operating a socially distanced system.

Find a Location Near You

You can find the nearest Drop-off Location to you on our website here. Don’t forget to check back regularly before National Collection Week (9th -16th Nov) as we are constantly adding new sites. COVID-19 is inevitably limiting the number of drop-off locations we can offer this year, so if you don’t find one near you, either use the support request form on the Drop-off Location page or try one of the following:

  • Post your shoebox gift to Operation Christmas Child, Unit 1, Junction 2 Industrial Estate, Demuth Way, Oldbury, B69 4LT.

  • If you haven’t already packed your shoebox consider building your box online. Learn more

What to Expect When Dropping Off Shoeboxes

When you enter your local Drop-off Location, most locations will have a large box available for you to place your shoebox in. This removes the need to go within 2 metres of any of our volunteers. Please do wear a face covering and observe social distancing. If you are dropping off a large number of shoeboxes feel free to go in and ask if some larger boxes can be brought out. Please do not attend if you are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms.

Processing Centres

This year, Samaritan’s Purse plans to process shoebox gifts at three different locations across the U.K. Volunteer registration for these processing centres is now open.

Learn More

Our current plans include:

  • Volunteers will be asked to wear face coverings, so please bring one with you.

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the facilities.

  • The temperature of all volunteers will be checked upon arrival and staff temperatures will be monitored daily as well.

  • Designated staff will clean and sanitize the properties frequently.

  • Our newly-developed processing procedures will allow volunteers and staff to social distance while serving with those from other groups.

  • Our processes have been inspected by Public Health officials and approved

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.

Start Building