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children opening shoebox gifts


Many shoebox gifts packed in the UK are now bringing joy to children living in Moldova!



Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania


3,250,532, with 18% under the age of 15 (source – CIA The World Factbook)



We thank God for the thousands of children who have received shoeboxes here since Operation Christmas Child began outreach events. While we are not able to provide pictures or information on the specific child who received your individual shoebox, we hope you will be inspired by the photos and stories below.

Children Receiving Shoebox Gifts In Moldova

Take a look at the delighted responses as these sweet children in Moldova open their shoebox gifts!

Good News and great joy in Moldova

Ana's Shoebox

Meet Ana! She is from a village in Moldova where there is extreme poverty. Ana had been wanting a baby doll, mentioning it many times around her house. Recently, when shoebox gifts were distributed in her area, Ana opened the lid to find the exact baby doll she had been longing for! Surprised, she picked up the doll and hugged it tight to her chest.

Ana holding her new doll

Children Opening Shoebox Gifts in Moldova

Children in Moldova opening shoebox gifts from the UK

Reaching Out To Local Schools

One local partner shared:

“During the Christmas holidays, we held two outreach events with children and teachers from a local school. At the events there was a children's choir and a Christmas musical production. There were 71 children at the first event and 60 at the second. Many of these children were keen to come back for The Greatest Journey Bible lessons. They came with their parents and heard the Good News of Jesus the Saviour. Thank you Samaritan's Purse for the service you perform. May the Lord bless you.”

child holding a shoebox

Sisters Receive Shoebox Gifts Together

When Alice and Elina opened their shoebox gifts they were delighted with what they saw inside. Alice loved the beautiful hat, special pencil and everything else inside the gift. 

Elina so enjoyed the outreach event that she decided she wanted to come along to their youth group too. 

Alice and Elina

Shoeboxes for Refugee Families

Local church partners have distributed many shoebox gifts to children who have fled from Ukraine. They have shared about a few such outreach events below:

"There was an indescribable joy for the children of Ukraine who received these gifts from Samaritan’s Purse. I asked them if they had received such gifts before, and they all said that it was the first time they had seen and received such gifts. Glory to God that we can bring encouragement and joy in these times to those who are so desperate and need our help."

Refugee families opening shoebox gifts
family with shoebox gifts

"We hosted over 60 children from Ukraine. Each one of them received a special gift and heard of God’s boundless love. We enjoyed being able to bring smiles to their faces, as at least for a moment they forgot about the pain. Thank you for these gifts full of beautiful surprises. What an honour to be a blessing to others."

"Every Ukrainian refugee child that has stayed at our partner church in Moldova during the past two weeks has been given an Operation Christmas Child shoebox of toys and other supplies. Giving the children the shoebox gifts helps calm the stress and anxiety of the parents and the kids. It shows them love and gives the kids and parents something to smile about. The children receive new toys and can play with the other refugee children staying there too. It helps create a happier environment and lets them forget the trauma of their circumstances for a little while. Thank you to Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child for this incredible ministry tool. Once parents and their children are in a safe, warm shelter, and have a good meal, and the children are settled with their shoeboxes, our church partners can share Jesus’ love with them."

Children exploring their gifts at a refugee centre
group of children with shoebox gifts

"Our Operation Christmas Child ministry partners have been supporting refugees at a church centre. About 60 refugees are staying there. We visited to support and encourage them and saw the beautiful work being done there."

Our Local Partners

Operation Christmas Child invests in building National Leadership Teams made up of trained local volunteers and staff within over 100 countries. These teams then work alongside many Regional Leadership Teams who in turn train local church leaders and teachers. In Moldova 11 teams are working with 501 ministry partners (teams of volunteers in local churches) to make Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey possible each year!

The Greatest Journey

Each shoebox gift delivered by Operation Christmas Child is a tangible expression of God’s amazing love. But a shoebox is just the beginning. After receiving a shoebox gift, children have the opportunity to enrol in The Greatest Journey – 12 fun and interactive Bible lessons, where they get the chance to discover who Jesus is and how to begin their own journey of faith. At the end of the course they get to experience a graduation ceremony where they receive a New Testament in their own language.

The Greatest Journey is taught by local volunteers who have been trained to deliver the programme. It is offered free of charge, without obligation, and with the consent of the child’s parent or guardian. 

Over 155,900 children in Moldova have enrolled in this programme since it started

Our Wider Work In This Location

Samaritan’s Purse has also been supporting Ukrainian refugees in Moldova through providing medical care, hygiene kits, food supplies, and other items.

Relief work in Moldova

Thank you!

Thank you so much for packing a shoebox gift and sending love and hope to a child in need. Your generosity makes such a difference!