Pandemic won’t stop Operation Christmas Child

Volunteers packing shoeboxes to be delivered to the children across the world.

An example of how these children feel as they open a shoebox sent to them.

SCIOTO —It’s that time of year when Scioto County residents are again making an impact worldwide through simple Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts.

For decades, the small boxes, lovingly packed with toys and other items, have been delivered to millions of children worldwide, which Samaritan’s Purse is committed to doing. If groups are not yet meeting, they can still pack gifts together online. Operation Christmas Child’s Build a Shoebox Online program and the new function of goal pages provide a creative way to rally together around a common goal.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause fear and uncertainty, Samaritan’s Purse calls on churches and families to pack more shoebox gifts than ever before for Operation Christmas Child—making sure millions of children experience the Good News and great joy of the holiday.

“Much of the world has been gripped with fear, and this is especially hard for children,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “Now more than ever, these boys and girls need to know God loves them. Operation Christmas Child delivers the hope found only in Jesus Christ.”

The Samaritan’s Purse project has collected and delivered shoebox gifts—filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys—to children worldwide for more than two decades. This is a mission project that everyone can still be a part of, even with COVID-19 restrictions. Then, bring them to one of the four Scioto County Drop-Off Locations during National Collection Week Nov. 16-23. Donors will be greeted at curbside drop-offs by volunteers wearing personal protection equipment.

Even if churches and community groups are not yet meeting, families are encouraged to pack shoebox gifts at home. The organization also offers an option to virtually pack a shoebox gift at Through this online tool, churches and groups can also set up a goal page to rally together to reach a larger goal. It’s easy—simply set a goal, invite your friends and start packing! Whether your goal is 50 shoeboxes or 5,000, anyone can Create a Goal Page.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, seeks to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories. If you want to be involved and help, here’s what you can do:

  • Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately.
  • Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, and the age category: 2–4, 5–9, or 10–14.
  • Select a medium to large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with pump or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies.
  • Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. You can also include a personal note and photo.
  • Donate $9 online and receive a label to Follow Your Box and discover your shoebox gift destination.
  • Take your shoebox gift to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week, Nov. 16–23, 2020. (See Box)

Locally, for more information about packing opportunities, please contact Gaylene St. Leger Cox, Southern Ohio Area Team Media Support, at (330)904-5873.

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights