Organised by Samaritans Purse International Relief

What is Operation Christmas Child?

Since 1990, Operation Christmas Child has brought the joy of Christmas to over 31 million boys and girls throughout Europe. Last year Samaritans Purse sent out over 1 million gifts to lonely, sick and disadvantaged children in hospitals, orphanages, refugee camps, homeless shelters and impoverished neighbourhoods throughout Eastern Europe.

Operation Christmas Child works by collecting shoeboxes filled with gifts. With the help of thousands of volunteers, Samaritans Purse then processes these boxes in its warehouses and distributes them to needy children in countries such as Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Ukraine, Romania and Russia.

How did we help?

We challenged Year 10 to fill as many shoeboxes as possible over 10 days! Here’s how they did it!

What can I pack?

  • A toothbrush, toothpaste
  • A bar of soap and flannel
  • A notepad, colouring book/ picture book
  • Cuddly toy
  • A set of crayons or felt pens
  • A hat, cap, gloves, scarf
  • A small ball or tennis ball
  • A puzzle e.g. small jigsaw
  • For boys: a toy car, truck, passenger plane or similar item
  • For girls: jewellery (e.g. pair of clip earrings, make-up or hair accessories)
  • A greetings card or a photo of yourself
  • Sweets (must be well within sell-by date)

What can’t I pack?

  • No chocolate (due to customs redulations) or other edible items (e.g. crisps, biscuits, tinned food or cake)
  • War related items (e.g. toy guns and soldiers, knives)
  • Clothing (other than listed above)
  • Glass containers, mirrors or fragile items
  • Liquids of any type (e.g. bubbles, shampoos, bubble bath, toiletry sets or aerosols)
  • Marbles or sharp objects
  • Anything of a political, racial or religious nature
  • Medicines
  • Books with words
How to pack your shoebox!
Find an empty medium-size shoe box. If boxes are too large they will be split. Then cover the box in Christmas paper - making sure that you wrap the lid and box separately or you won’t be able to put anything in it!!
Decide whether your gift will be for a BOY or a GIRL and the age category. Ask your form teacher for the appropriate boy/girl label and tick the box for the age group you have packed for. Stick the label to the outside of the lid – on the top right as you would a stamp on a letter. You will need to tape the label to the box.
Fill the shoe box with the gifts listed on the ‘What to Pack’ list. Please DO NOT wrap any items individually or overfill your box.
Please put £2 with the form in an envelope and seal it. Place the envelope inside the box, but on the top of the gifts so that it is clearly visible when it is opened.
The £2 goes towards promotion, transport, processing and distribution.
Please secure the lid with an elastic band, and DO NOT seal the box as it will need to be checked to ensure it meets Customs requirements.

Facts and Figures!

  • Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest children’s Christmas project.
  • The 31 million shoe boxes collected since 1989, if stacked one atop another, would rise more than 300 times higher than Mount Everest.
  • If all 31 million children who have received shoe boxes since 1989 stood hand-in- hand, they would form a line stretching 21,400 miles – enough to reach more than three quarters of the way around the world.

Thank You Very Much to everyone who contributed!!