Operation Christmas Child at Bible Baptist Church

What is Operation Christmas Child?

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. The mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We ship these simple gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine, and disease.  

Why a shoebox?

Shoebox gifts demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. By partnering with the local church worldwide, each shoebox gift is a powerful tool for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

How do I pack a shoebox gift?

You can learn all about how to pack a shoebox gift. This includes what kind of box to use, which items can and can’t be included, how to label your gift, and where and when to drop it off near you.  You can use any empty shoebox or shoebox-sized plastic container. Operation Christmas Child also has red and green preprinted boxes that are available here at Bible Baptist Church.

  See our lists of suggested items for shoebox gifts and also learn which items should not be included.  

Gift Suggestions

Downloadable list of gift suggestions. 

Want to check on a specific item? Use the Gift Look-up Tool.

Why do I need to include $10?

The $10 per shoebox is a suggested donation. This amount is critical to cover project costs involved in collecting, processing, and shipping your shoebox gifts to over 170 countries. It also provides for ministry materials such as The Greatest Gift Gospel Booklet and The Ministry Partner Guide. We encourage those who are unable to include $10 per box to consider asking a group in their church or a family member to sponsor this part of the shoebox gift. Learn more about what the $10 covers.

For easiest processing, we recommend you give your $10 suggested donation per shoebox online. To do this, Follow Your Box or visit our Ways to Give page. Or, if you have a copy of the How to Pack a Shoebox brochure—available from our free materials—use the enclosed postage-paid envelope to mail us a check. If none of these options work for you, you can always include your donation in your shoebox gift and it will be collected during processing.

You can discover the destination country of your shoebox gift by making your $10 per shoebox suggested donation online. Activate your shoebox tracking label at samaritanspurse.org/activate or print your own label by donating on our Labels Landing Page. Receiving countries vary from year to year. If you make your $10 per shoebox suggested donation online by either activating your shoebox tracking labels or ordering printable Follow Your Box tracking labels to attach to your gifts, you can discover the destination country of your shoebox gifts! A more complete list of receiving countries is available.

Where do I bring my box?

We collect our boxes here at Bible Baptist Church just before National Collection Week (the 3rd week in November each year).  Then we take it to the central drop off location here in Traverse City.  It is one of the thousands of drop-off locations across the United States.  You can also physically drop off shoebox gifts year-round at any one of our Ministry Centers. Only our Boone and Charlotte locations are able to accept mailed gifts. For more drop-off information and addresses, visit our drop-off location landing page.

Thousands of drop-off locations open across the country during National Collection Week, the third week in November every year. You can also physically drop off shoebox gifts year-round at any one of our Ministry Centers. Only our Boone and Charlotte locations are able to accept mailed gifts. For more drop-off information and addresses, visit our drop-off location landing page.

Build a Shoebox Online (BASBO)

Build a Shoebox Online is a convenient way to pack your Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift right from home. Choose from our selections of toys and other fun items to include in your gift. Then, personalize it by adding your own letter and photo. For a suggested donation of $25 per gift, we’ll pack everything for you and send it on its way with the message of God’s love for a boy or girl in need around the world.  You can build a shoebox online year-round, but keep in mind that shoeboxes built after December 31 will not count in the current year’s shoebox total.  We usually have a Bible Baptist Church goal page every year!  

Donate so others can build a box online

You can donate a certain number of online shoebox gifts and then others can have the experience of building a shoebox online without cost to them. Simply answer a few questions and let us know how many shoeboxes you want to provide. After you submit your payment information, you’ll receive two emails: first a receipt or confirmation email, and second an email with a shareable link to forward to others. That link unlocks the chance for your fellow church members, family, or friends to build a shoebox gift online free of charge, thereby sending Good News and great joy to boys and girls in need around the world!

What else happens at the outreach event?

As mentioned earlier, The Greatest Gift Gospel booklet, available in more than 100 languages, is given out alongside each shoebox gift. The booklet shares 11 Scripture stories in a child-friendly manner and invites children to follow Christ.

The Greatest Journey is a discipleship experience offered by local churches to many of the children who receive shoebox gifts. The 12-lesson program introduces boys and girls to a saving faith in Jesus and encourages them to grow as faithful followers. The program connects children to local churches who through discipling relationships, teach and nurture children in faith.

It takes $6 to provide a child the opportunity to participate in The Greatest Journey and receive discipleship materials, including a graduation certificate and New Testament written in the child’s language. The Greatest Journey is an investment not only in children, but also in the teachers and the local churches that will learn, grow, and continue to serve Christ with the momentum gained through the program. You can support The Greatest Journey, making disciples around the world through a monthly donation or one-time giving.


Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Year Round Collection

   for our church packing party!

January- Mittens/gloves/scarves/hats

February -watches, jewelry, sunglasses, hairclips, purses

March - personal items i.e., comb/brush, nail clippers, ChapStick, stick deodorant, toothbrush, wash cloth, compass, flashlight

April - stuffed animals

May - quality crafted items- hand-made items, wooden toys, etc.

June - toys, dolls, mitts, soccer ball/pump, puppets, yoyos, cars, trucks, slinkies, etch a sketch (sm)

July - clothing- socks, undies, t-shirts, shorts, dresses, pants, shoes, flip flops

August - school supplies- spiral notebooks, crayons, pencils, 6" rulers, scissors, glue sticks, sharpeners, solar calculators, stickers, non-liquid paint

September - games- puzzles, board games, tic-tac-toe, UNO

October - Personal letters & photos

November - $10 donation for processing

December - Prayer for the children, families, volunteers, transporters of shoeboxes

Drop off all donated items at the display in the foyer. Any donated gift items will be accepted at any time of the year.  

Here at Bible Baptist Church, we gather to make shoeboxes together!  Please join us for our Packing Party!  Look for bulletin announcements for when and where the next one will be!


Samaritan's Purse has dedicated volunteers who work year-round to promote and pray for Operation Christmas Child. If you’re interested in volunteering year-round, you can learn more about the different roles or fill out an application on our year-round volunteer landing page.

Starting in the fall, we also offer an exciting short-term volunteer opportunity to work in one of our Processing CentersBefore the millions of shoebox gifts collected each year can bring hope and joy to children around the world, each one has to be carefully inspected and made ready for international shipment by volunteers like you. Tens of thousands of volunteers serve annually at shoebox processing centers across the United States.

If you’re interested in becoming Project Leader—leading a church or group effort in packing shoebox gifts—we’ve designed a resource page full of ideas and materials that will help you, your family, church, business, or community center get involved in Operation Christmas Child. You can even join our online community of Project Leaders to share your questions, tips, ideas, and encouragement with thousands of others leading their own shoebox-packing groups across the nation.