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A testimony of the impact of Operation Christmas Child

If you’ve been considering participating in Operation Christmas Child this year, or you already participate, you’ll want to read Oxana’s story of receiving a shoebox herself when she was a young girl.

We have so much compared to so many in this world. And there are so many ways we can give — even on a very tight budget. Start planning ahead now and you can likely generously fill at least a few shoeboxes for very little out of pocket!

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  • Ileana says:

    Thanks for sharing the story. We have done Operation Christmas for the past two years. We have heard Oxana’s story before and we were really blessed by it. I think this year my family will be able to fill more boxes than the previous years thanks to your site! I have been able to get many things with little OOP money and this will bless a few more kids.

  • Challice says:

    Where do you go to take Operation Christmas Child? Is it something you send or find a place in your local area?

    • Donna Rogers says:

      @Challice, In our area many churches are the drop off places. If you go online under Operation Christmas Child, they should be able to tell you where to go in your area.

  • Lori F. says:

    I’ve already started my OCC shopping thanks to cheap school supplies and plastic boxes at Target. It is such a blessing to our family to participate in this program every year and not have a major hit on our budget during the holidays. I keep and box in a closet and watch for deals all year. OCC and Compassion Int’l. are our 2 favorite causes.

  • Paula says:

    I had the honor of seeing children receive their boxes first hand this year when I went to Botswana in May. The church there asked me if I would do the honors of giving each gift!! It was truly a blessing to see each little face light up when their name was called. I even a hug and kiss from each of the 30+ children there!! These kids were so excited to receive a box and were grateful for whatever was in it!! I plan to do more boxes this year!!

  • Ashlie says:

    I have met Oxana and heard her story and it amazes me each time I hear it how God uses our small gifts to make a big difference in his kingdom. Challice, many churches or other places will take the shoe boxes during a certain time period toward the end of November, I believe you can go on the website and find a local donation center! 🙂

  • Elaine says:

    Thank you for posting this encouraging message. We have been putting together shoeboxes for several years and have found them a real blessing. Using coupons, back to school and after holiday sales has really helped. The first year, we included notes and never heard back, so have not included notes since then. After listening to Oxana’s message, maybe we’ll include notes again. Remember to pray for the children who receive the boxes, as well. I was also told that they can use extra items to add to the “leaner” boxes they receive.

  • Tracie says:

    I just found your website last week. I really liked it, but now I LOVE it! Operation Christmas Child is my favorite charity, and one we’ve participated in as a family since 1998. Thank you for posting this!

  • Lynn says:

    Thank you again for the reminder about starting early on OCC. With all the great back to school deals and toy clearances its a great time to start collecting items for all the charities that help the communities during the holidays. I have my giving box started for the local charity, time to start the OCC box now. God has truly blessed us this year, we just have to pass the blessing on to others.

  • Great, great program. We try to fill up one shoebox every year. This is a Billy Graham ministry, right?

  • Kelly says:

    @Challice, Many local churches participate. Go to their website for more information on a drop-off location near you:

  • Karen S. says:

    It is so true, we are so fortunate to have what we have. I recommend the book, The Life You Can Save — it really is a wonderful, challenging way to look at how lucky we are and our responsibility to give. It also has valuable lessons on choosing where to send your charitable donations!

  • Toia says:

    The preschool I worked will have each class prepare a shoebox and help load it on a truck. The children enjoyed it. This is a great thing to do .

  • Jenny says:

    We do the boxes every year through our church, also, but I have a question. For those of you that do massive amounts of boxes (like the comment in the original blog post that did 10, 000 boxes)- how do you afford the $7 shipping? Do you just save up? Or get donations? Just wondering. I think we actually spend less that $7 on each box because of sales/coups, but of course it has to be shipped (and we do it gladly). I just wondered if others did something different w/ shipping…

    • Conni says:

      @Jenny, Below is an official response from Samaritan’s Purse regarding the $7 suggested donation for the shoe boxes. It is just a suggestion, and not a requirement. So fill those shoe boxes and and enjoy the process…and above all, pray for those who will receive the gifts!

      “In your correspondence, you inquired about shoe box gifts that do not include the suggested seven dollar donation for shipping. We ship every shoe box gift, regardless of whether a donation is included. If someone cannot include any, or only part of, the seven dollars, he or she may still send a shoe box and be assured that the box will make it to a needy child overseas”

  • Erin says:

    This is an especially hard year financially for our family. I have spent the last two years in school finishing my undergraduate degree. It has been tight. I graduated in May and can’t find a job. ANYWHERE. But this is such a cool ministry because it takes so little to make a big impact. It has really touched my heart and I am getting my children (ages 8 and 6) and my husband involved. We have also reached out to those around us. We have started putting items together for 20 boxes this year. I am so thankful to be able to share what God has provided for us.

  • Sia Hills says:

    Yes, its great. I work for World Vision and am reminded everyday how things we consider so small can be so big to others! We work with Samaritans Purse and I can confirm from both personal participation and professional experience – its a great program!

  • cat says:

    Thank you for posting this heartwarming story. I was in tears midway through the post. It is amazing how something so smalll makes such a big impact.

  • Sherry says:

    Thank you so much for posting this note and for supporting Operation Christmas Child. I’m a year round volunteer for OCC and can atest that these simple gifts truly make a world of difference in the lives of hurting children. Thank you for all who have posted and participate. We’re anticipating reaching 8.2 million children this year — and this is b/c of generous, kind people like yourselves! 🙂

  • karendye says:

    I just returned from Walgreen’s, where I picked up 40 boxes of pencils for only $3.65! I love putting school supplies in my Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts, because sometimes they enable kids to go to school who otherwise couldn’t.

  • Kathy says:

    Thanks so much for letting more people know about Operation Christmas Child. I, too, am a year-round volunteer with Operation Christmas Child and I’ve been blessed by this site and others that help me to be able to pack more boxes at a lower cost. This year I’m asking God to provide enough items to pack 12,000 boxes at a community-wide packing party and it wouldn’t happen without coupons and sale items. If you want to follow this process here in Erie, PA you can check my blog at

  • Jen says:

    I tried to do boxes a few times, but my good intentions always fell to the wayside. This year, I am determined to give at least one for each of my children. I started already, buying crayons on sale at Kmart. I’m planning to pick up a bit more once I remind myself of the list of suggested items!

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