Host a Packing Party!

An Operation Christmas Child shoebox filled full of fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items.
Blue monkey stuffed animal sitting on an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

“Shoebox gifts are like snowflakes—no two are alike!”

—Franklin Graham, President, Samaritan’s Purse

The key to the success of any packing party is to fill each of your shoebox gifts uniquely full of quality items. Keep in mind that when children around the world open these treasures, we want them to catch a glimpse of God’s amazing love. Boys and girls are hearing the Good News of the Gospel—many for the first time—as they receive their shoeboxes, and this special present should point them to God’s Greatest Gift, His Son Jesus Christ. Also, be sure and pray over your shoeboxes before, during, and after your packing event.

Fox stuffed animal sitting on an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

Make a Plan

  1. Set a goal for how many shoeboxes you want to pack. Consider your budget for boxes, filler items, and the suggested $10 donation per shoebox.

  2. Decide how many people you want to invite to pack with you.

  3. Select a date, time, and location for your packing event.

  4. Brainstorm the event setup, signage, and organization of your quality items. Reach out to a local Operation Christmas Child volunteer or join the Grupo Líder de Proyecto de Facebook for ideas and suggestions.

  5. Make a plan for how you’ll store your boxes until National Collection Week, and how you’ll transport them to a drop-off location Nov. 13–20, 2023.


Build a Team

  1. Recruit volunteers who will work with you to make the event a success. You will need people to help promote and coordinate the event, but also people who will help collect filler items and donations.

  2. Communicate your vision to your team.

  3. Share with them the goals determined in Step 1.


Collect Quality Items

  1. Make a plan for how you are going to collect items. Be sure to select a variety of "wow" toys, school supplies, and personal care items. Check out our gift suggestions for items to pack as well as our Amazon storefront for an optional list of quality items to include.

  2. Pick items based on the specific age and gender you are packing for.

  3. Shop smart: search for deals and delegate items for people to bring.

  4. Aim to include a personalized note of encouragement in each shoebox. Oftentimes this is the child's favorite!

  5. Start gathering items and donations prior to your event.


Spread the Word

  1. Communicate why you are packing.

  2. Comparte lugares de entrega y horas de operación que atienden su área de cobertura when the event will be.

  3. Promote the packing event using flyers, emails, newsletters, announcements, and social media.


Pack, Pray, and Drop Off

  1. Now the fun begins! As your group gathers to uniquely fill each shoebox for a child in need around the world, be prepared to be blessed even as you are being a blessing!

  2. Be sure to pause packing long enough to pray over each shoebox gift as it is completed. This is by far the most important step in the process!

  3. Be prepared to share the Gospel at your event, you never know whose heart God is working on.

  4. Find the centro de recolección nearest you to be ready for National Collection Week, Nov. 13–20, 2023.

Three fun themed Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes filled with colorful toys, school supplies, and hygiene items.