Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham.

Shoe box gifts, filled for girls and boys ages 2-14, are collected and distributed  worldwide to  underprivileged children living in desperate situations. These simple shoebox gifts are packed with school supplies, small toys, necessity items and candy. To learn more about Operation Christmas Child, you can visit www.smaritanslurse.org/occ.

During the week of November 16-23, people in the area will pack shoebox gifts, which will be collected by Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child and then will be distributed worldwide to children in need.

The relay center to collect Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts from this area is once again located at Immanuel Baptist Church in Miami. You too, can share in the joy of giving through this project.

Collection Dates: Monday, November 16 – Sunday, November 22 at the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Relay Center at Immanuel Baptist Church, 228 H St. SE, Miami from Monday-Friday 10 am – 2 pm, Saturday 10 am – noon

Sunday 1 pm – 3 pm. For more information please call (918) 542-4241 or (918) 533-0192

Some 8 million suffering children in more than 100 countries on six continents will receive personal, gift-filled shoe boxes through this kids-helping-kids project. For many of these children, the shoe box gift will be the first gift they have ever received.

Kids, families, churches, scout troops, schools, civic clubs and businesses are filling their shoe boxes now. This fall, shoe box gifts can be dropped off at one of more than 2,400 collection sites located in all 50 states.

National Collection Week is Nov. 16-23.

To find the nearest location, call (800) 353-5949 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org. (After Nov. 24, shoe box gifts can be mailed to Samaritan’s Purse: 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C. 28607.)

Millions of caring individuals, families, schools, churches, civic clubs and other organizations in thousands of cities in all 50 states and 11 additional countries will fill some 8 million shoe boxes with personal gifts, school supplies, candy, necessity items, family photos and notes of encouragement.

More than 500,000 volunteers worldwide, including some 100,000 volunteers in the United States, will join forces to prepare the boxes for transport to distant lands.

Where are the shoeboxes sent?

To Timbuktu and Beyond. .Literally

The shoe box gifts will be filled and donated by millions of individuals in 12 countries: the United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Germany, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Samaritan’s Purse and its national partners hope to hand-deliver the shoe box gifts to 8 million children in more than 100 countries.

In 2007, children in the town of Timbuktu in West African country of Mali received shoe box gifts for the first time.

How are the shoeboxes delivered?

By land, air, sea, and camel . . .

The shoe box gifts are inspected and prepared for overseas shipment in 6 major centers across the United States: Boone, N.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Minneapolis; Atlanta; Denver; Orange County, Calif. Then, the shoe box gifts are loaded onto some of the world’s largest cargo planes, trucks and sea containers bound for the far reaches of the earth.

Once the gifts are transported to countries around the world, Samaritan’s Purse teams and  partners transport them by truck, bus, train, helicopter, boat, foot, dog sled, mule and even camel to hand-deliver the gifts to hurting children.

Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology that allows donors to “follow your box” to the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need.  To register shoe box gifts and find out to which country they are delivered, use the EZ Give donation form found at www.samaritanspurse.org.

What is the history of Operation Christmas Child?

Operation Christmas Child began in the United States in 1993 with 28,000 shoe box gifts. Since that time, the kids-helping-kids project has collected more than 69 million shoe box gifts and hand-delivered them to needy children in more than 130 countries, including:

* Young children in the war-torn Republic of Georgia (2008)

* Children in China, a country devastated by a massive earthquake (2008)

* Hurting children stricken by poverty in war-ravaged Sudan (2007)

*  Children in war-torn Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries (2006)

*  Young survivors of the horrific tsunami in Southeast Asia (2005)

*  School children attacked by terrorists in Beslan, Russia (2004)

* Ugandan children devastated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic (2002)

* War orphans in Kosovo (1999), Bosnia and Croatia (1995-1996), and Rwanda (1994)

*  Children in Honduras and Nicaragua left homeless by Hurricane Mitch (1998)

Facts about Operation Christmas Child

* U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have all packed an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts for children in need. 

*  Headed by Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse is working in some 100 countries providing aid to victims of war, natural disaster, famine, disease and poverty.