Power Point Slide
Canadians are starting to fill shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. The power of these simple gifts touches children’s hearts and changes lives.

Operation Christmas Child is a fun and simple, hands-on project of Samaritan’s Purse that anyone can participate in. Each gift-filled shoe box is used to bless the life of a child living in a desperate situation. When culturally appropriate, children are also offered “The Greatest Gift of All,” an illustrated storybook in their local language explaining how God sent his only son. Children can learn more about having a personal relationship with Jesus through a voluntary discipleship program that is offered.

Operation Christmas Child began on October 10, 1990, when Dave and Jill Cooke of Wrexham, Wales watched a television broadcast about Romanian orphanages. The Cooke’s wanted to do something to help the children living in the orphanages and realized what they could offer was the gift of love. A convoy of nine trucks was filled with medical supplies, food, clothing, and Christmas gifts. The trucks were driven into Romania marking the small beginnings of what is now the world’s largest children’s Christmas program.

In 1993, Franklin Graham, International President of Samaritan’s Purse, adopted Operation Christmas Child as a project of the ministry. Samaritan’s Purse first delivered gift-filled shoe boxes to children in war-torn Bosnia and since then more than 68 million shoe box gifts have brought a message of hope, joy, and love to children in over 130 countries. Last season, 713,294 shoe boxes were collected in Canada and distributed to children in more than 15 countries.

How to Pack a Shoe Box

Follow these simple steps...

Select a Shoe box

Select a shoe box

Use a regular-sized shoe box or pliable plastic box. If wrapping your shoe box, please wrap the lid separately.

Boy or Girl

Boy or Girl?

Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.

Select a Shoe box

Fill your shoe box

Fill your shoe box with a well-balanced variety of items from the following categories:


  • School Supplies - Items such as pencils, pens, pencil crayons, note pads, and picture books
  • Toys & Other Gifts - Items such as stuffed animals, small musical instruments, hair clips, toy jewelry, t-shirts, socks, and candy (loose, individually wrapped hard candy in a sealable bag)
  • Hygiene Items - Please place soap in a sealable bag
  • Personal Note - Include a personal note and/or a photo in your shoe box (not inside the donation envelope)


  • Toothpaste (due to customs regulations)
  • Food and any chewy, crumbly, or soft candy: Including gum (due to customs regulations)
  • Used items (due to customs regulations)
  • Liquids or items that could leak, melt, freeze, or break – Shampoo, creams, lip balm, bath gels, mirrors, or glass, etc. (these can damage other items in the shoe box).
  • Items that can scare or harm a child – War-related toys, knives, and toy guns, etc.

Donate shipping costsMake your Donation

Please donate a minimum of $7 for each shoe box you prepare to help cover project costs,  including shipping. Simply make your donation online or place a cheque or cash donation in an envelope inside your shoe box.

Drop off your shoe box(es)

There are hundreds of drop-off locations across Canada. You can use our drop-off location locator tool to find the drop-off location nearest to you. DROP OFF YOUR SHOEBOXES AT THE JAKE HOWARD CENTER DURING THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 14-21ST.


For more information and drop of locations please see