Seasonal Volunteering Opportunities | Samaritans Purse Skip to main content

Seasonal Volunteering Opportunities

There are many seasonal ways to get further involved with Operation Christmas Child, from volunteering to check shoebox gifts at a processing centre, to being part of the logistics team in your local area, or one of the hundreds of drivers who pick up shoeboxes on our behalf.

Seasonal Roles

Check Shoebox Gifts in a Processing Centre

November, December and January

A vital part of Operation Christmas Child takes place behind the scenes in the immediate weeks after National Collection Week.

During this period thousands of generous supporters donate their time to manually check hundreds of thousands of shoeboxes for safety and customs compliance before they are sent to children in need around the world. Please do explore the opportunity for you, your family, church, or workplace to participate in a day or more with us.

Learn More

volunteers processing shoebox gifts
smiling volunteer wearing high vis jacket

Processing Centre Host

November, December and January

Processing Centre Hosts should have great people skills and be passionate about the work of Operation Christmas Child.

They work alongside the Processing Centre Manager to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all Processing Centre Volunteers.

Leading on: ensuring all areas of processing are covered, assigning volunteers to different areas when necessary; ensuring accurate processing logs; and, generally supporting the volunteers by answering questions and providing a positive experience.

Register Interest

Lorry Loading Team

November, December and January

Be part of the final link in the UK shoebox chain, loading and waving off precious cargoes of shoebox gifts, bound to bring great joy to children around the world.

Lorry loader teams load our cartons of processed shoeboxes (weighing around 15kg each) onto the lorries/containers ready for export. This is a physical role and so volunteers should feel comfortable lifting and carrying the cartons. Training will be provided.

Although we aim to give as much notice as possible some opportunities will arise with just 24-48 hours’ notice.

Register Interest

volunteer lifts carton of shoeboxes
driver loading van


National Collection Week + 2 Weeks

During the weeks surrounding National Collection Week, volunteer drivers collect boxes from schools, churches and businesses and drop them into Processing Centres or storage sites, using their own or vehicle or a hired van or lorry.

We do carton our shoeboxes, so drivers should feel comfortable lifting and carrying. Manual handling guidance is given to all drivers to ensure this role is conducted safely.

Many drivers like the option of being paired with a driver’s mate for company and support moving the shoeboxes.

Register Interest

Driver's Mate

National Collection Week + 2 Weeks

Driver’s mates accompany drivers on their collections to support with the collection of boxes and, if comfortable, to share in driving responsibilities.

Often drivers may have a friend they already bring along but we can pair up individual volunteers if not – who usually end up as friends after a day collecting boxes together!

Register Interest

Father and son driver and drivers mate

You can also find out more about other volunteer roles below:


Year-round Connect Volunteering


The Worldwide Volunteer Network