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Host an Operation Christmas Child Party – It’s Time to Start Planning!

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Are you familiar with the shoebox ministry of Operation Christmas Child? You may be wondering what all the fuss over a shoebox is about, so let me take quick moment to fill you in. Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has been sharing gifts with boys and girls in over 130 countries. Simple shoeboxes are packed with gifts for children that are delivered to children around the world, along with the message of salvation.

OCC Packing Party Header

It may seem a little bit early to start planning, but collection week for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes is typically around mid-November each year. You all know as well as I do, that time manages to somehow sneak up on you!

In years past our family has hosted Shoebox Packing Parties. We invited a bunch of friends, made some fun crafts, packed a bunch of shoeboxes, learned more about the journey a shoebox takes, and had fun thinking of what the children receiving those boxes would think of them! Our church has also collected supplies and spent a Sunday morning packing shoeboxes to send around the world.

We would love to invite you to do the same! Not sure how to get started? Just follow the steps below:

1. Order your FREE Resources from Samaritan’s Purse

OCC Packing Party Resources

Click over now and order before you forget. There are quite a few different things to help you out, including a dvd, stickers, coloring pages, and more.

2. Pick a Date and Start Planning Your Shoebox Party

Find a date that suits {you may want to pick two depending on the amount of friends you want to invite}, and start making a list of people to invite.

3. Print out Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Party Invitations

Operation Christmas Child invitation


We handed out simple postcard sized invitations to invite our friends to our packing party.  Be sure to download a copy of the editable Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Party Invitation to make it a little easier for you!

The blue fields are editable {using Adobe Reader} and then you can print them to hand out. There is room on the back to let your guests know what they need to bring and what you’ll be doing together at the party. {See how we filled out our invitations and what we asked others to bring here.}

Download button

4. Pack Those Shoeboxes and Drop Them Off!


This hands-on creative idea shared on the Operation Christmas Child Facebook page is one to love. If your family has a plethora of LEGOs, consider adding this idea to your party. Design and build with LEGOs, take a picture, then bag up the LEGOs along with the picture to include in your shoebox. We are definitely adding this in to our packing time!

Get together with your friends, have fun packing those shoeboxes, and then send them off! You can find a local drop-off location here or call  1-800-353-5949 for more information.


Additional Links to Get You Started Planning Your Shoebox Party

Here are a few helpful links {all in one place} to get you started planning your party.

Note – Samaritan’s Purse asks that you please not include any of the following items: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out- of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

Have you hosted an Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing party before?

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  1. Hi Jolanthe, thank you for sharing. I think my children will like to do this. We have been doing the Action Packs from Voice of the Martyrs but we might start doing this as well. blessings

  2. Do you supply all the shoeboxes and items, or do the attendees bring their own? It sounds like fun, but not sure I understand how it works.

    • Last year I actually purchased the clear sterlite boxes from Walmart for everyone to pack in, but you can also get boxes from Chick-fil-A or another local drop-off spot. It’s entirely up to you how you do your party. We all made different crafts and before the party last year I asked families to decide how many boxes they wanted to pack and to bring their goodies for the boxes.

      This year I have been scouring the sales bins all year long and spent less than $50 and have two huge Rubbermaid tubs full of goodies to put in the boxes. One of our local dentists also provided toothbrushes and other dental care items for each of the boxes. We’ll be asking families to choose a boy or a girl and pick up one special item for their box, since we have quite a bit to put in the boxes. We’re hoping that means we can send MORE boxes this year if they cover the s/h fees. :)

      Does that make sense?

    • Yep, that makes sense to me. Thanks for the link too, I ordered all kinds of supplies for our church plant and our family.

  3. Definitely do, Ria. It was so much fun! :)

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