Both Sides of a Shoebox Gift
Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes will soon be sent out to the nations, giving millions of children the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This week, we are covering the impact on both sides of the shoebox—from the generous packers to the children who receive them. Dania, who grew up in the Middle East and received a shoebox gift as a child, shares how this simple gift gave her hope. After Dania’s story, Kristy Graham takes listeners to the processing center in Boone, North Carolina where she asked volunteers why they pack shoeboxes.
As the Operation Christmas Child processing season continues at our eight locations around the country, God is preparing the hearts of millions of kids to hear the Gospel message. When children receive a gift-filled shoebox, they are not only given toys, hygiene items, and school supplies—they are getting a tangible example of the Lord's love for them. It lets them know that He sees them and He knows exactly what they need. This week’s episode is all about the impact on both sides of the shoebox.
Recently, during staff devotions, Dania shared what it meant for her to get her own shoebox as a child. Dania grew up in the Middle East, and her family faced intense persecution throughout their time living there. Hope in the form of a shoebox gift came at a time when she needed it most. Her incredible testimony serves as a reminder that a simple gift-filled shoebox can have an eternal impact.
“Sitting there holding my box, this was the time when I felt like God sees me.”—Dania
Samaritan’s Purse cannot share the Gospel message with millions of children and their communities without the dedication of those who pack shoeboxes year after year. Kristy Graham went over to the processing center at the organisation’s headquarter and talked to volunteers about why they pack shoeboxes. For many, packing shoeboxes has become a tradition each Operation Christmas Child season. People across the country gather with their small groups, kids, grandchildren, teams, and churches to fill boxes for children in need.
During her time in the processing center, Kristy saw the volunteers’ passion and genuine excitement firsthand. God is connecting people and building relationships as volunteers come together to help children. One group of packers that Kristy interacted with had met years ago, and they now meet up each year to process shoeboxes together. Kristy got to hear from so many people around the world about why they personally pack boxes.
“Because the Great Commission said we're supposed to go. I don't go on that many mission trips, but I send shoeboxes around the world. And that's more than I could ever do on a mission trip myself. So, I feel like I'm impacting the kingdom in a much bigger way.”—Karen
Volunteers shared that they pack because of the Gospel opportunities, so children can come to know Christ as their Saviour. They shared that packing is all about sharing the love of Jesus. One volunteer remarked that he saw the direct impact of a shoebox when a young man from Vietnam came to his church and shared that as a child, he had received a shoebox. This changed the young man’s life, so now he is returning to Vietnam to be a missionary.
“It’s a fun way for our family to be involved in taking the Gospel to the nations, and they enjoy finding little toys and things to help another child, and they'll even write them a note.” —Russ
Please pray for the millions of shoeboxes that are being processed right now that will be sent out to the nations. Please pray for the kids that will get the shoeboxes as well as their communities that will be impacted. Pray that each one would come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Support Operation Christmas Child
Can sponsor the costs of sending one shoebox gift to a child in need.
Could help with processing and shipping two shoebox gifts to children in need.
Can provide local churches with training and resources to distribute shoebox gifts at outreach events.