Operation Christmas Child has been collecting and delivering shoebox gifts — filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys — to children worldwide for more than two decades. This is a project that everyone can still be a part of, even with COVID-19 restrictions, according to a press release from, the Samaritan’s Purse organization.

There’s still time for individuals, families, and groups to transform empty shoeboxes into fun gifts. The project partners with local churches across the globe to deliver these boxes to children in need. 

Find a step-by-step guide on the How to Pack a Shoebox webpage, samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child.

There you will also find information about safe curbside drop-off procedures for the boxes.

Basically, you start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox (wrapping it is optional — but cover the box and lid separately), decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, choose the age category (2–4, 5–9, or 10–14) and include a large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with pump or stuffed animal, then fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.

“In the midst of the pandemic, the needs are greater than ever before,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “Children around the world need to know that God loves them and there is hope. A simple shoebox gift opens the door to share about the true hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.”

Those interested in more information on how Operation Christmas Child is making adjustments during its National Collection Week can visit the organization’s Important COVID-19 Updates webpage for the latest information.

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, states the press release. 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.

When and Where

Locations — Nov. 16-23 at Covenant Church, 455 Frankton Road, Hood River, and First Christian Church in The Dalles, 909 Court St.

Donation times — Hood River, from Nov. 16-22 are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Nov. 23 from 7:30-9:30 a.m.; The Dalles, Nov. 16-20, 3-6 p.m,; Nov 21-22, 1-4 p.m.; and Nov. 23, 7-9 a.m.

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