Project Leader Workshop 2021 Takeaway Guide

We pray that you were encouraged, inspired and equipped by our Project Leader Workshop, that was held online on Saturday 11 September.

This takeaway guide has been put together as a reminder about the resources available to you as a Project Leader, and includes key updates about this year’s campaign, and tips about how to effectively share Operation Christmas Child with your church, school or group. In turn, your efforts will bring joy to millions of precious children through gift-filled shoeboxes

Key Dates
Volunteer With Operation Christmas Child
Doing Operation Christmas Child Differently
Packing Parties
Shoebox Online
Church Collection Centres
Week of Prayer
Connect Conference

“From the Carpathian Mountains in Romania to the far-reaching deserts of Namibia, from the overcrowded cities in the south of Mexico to the remote villages in the islands of the Pacific; when you donate a shoebox with Operation Christmas child, we take it to the ends of earth.”

Key Dates

Week of Prayer

18 – 22 October 2021

National Collection Week

15 – 22 November 2021

Processing Centre Volunteering

22 November – 18 December 2021

Connect Conference

18 – 20 March 2022


Order free materials for your church or group to get the word out about the evangelism, discipleship, and multiplication opportunities created by shoebox gifts. Resources for Project Leaders include the following, and more:

  • ‘How to Pack a Shoebox’ leaflets
  • Promotional posters
  • Church and group kits


Order Resources

Volunteer with Operation Christmas Child

Volunteering with Operation Christmas Child can take many forms, but has one purpose – to share Good News and great joy with children in need around the world. Here are two of the ways you can volunteer alongside being a great Project Leader:


Promotional Volunteering

Promotional Connect Volunteers come from all walks of life and share one thing in common – they love the ministry of Operation Christmas Child and the impact they can have by promoting the ministry to churches and groups in their area.

Working together in local teams, promotional Connect Volunteers enthuse and equip churches and groups in their communities to take part in Operation Christmas Child by packing shoebox gifts. They also encourage local Christians to partner with us in prayer, and to reach out in mission to their friends and local communities.

Each stage of the year has a different focus, with regular relationship building with Project Leaders taking place to affirm, engage and support them.

Learn More

Seasonal Volunteering

Be a key part of the next step of a shoebox’s journey to export.

Mobilised from October to December, seasonal volunteers serve through collecting shoeboxes, volunteering at our processing centres and loading lovingly packed shoeboxes onto the lorries that will take them to children around the world.

Learn More

Doing Operation Christmas Child Differently

There are so many incredible and creative ways of doing Operation Christmas Child with your church or group; from creating your own launch video, to collecting all year round, or hosting packing parties. Packing a shoebox is so much more than blessing a child in a tangible way; it’s a tool to connect with your community and invite them into the life of your church or group. Here are just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing.


Host a “Round the World” light party

Invite local families to an October Half Term Light Party and share stories from countries that receive Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. At the end of the party, give each family an empty shoebox, leaflet and information about Family and Children’s activities at your church. Invite them to pack a box and return to your church either during National Collection Week in November or at your church’s Shoebox Sunday service.


Start an Operation Christmas Child themed home group in your church

Having other passionate supporters with you will enable you, the Project Leader, to be encouraged and inspired and in turn to inspire and encourage others in your church to pack more shoeboxes and pray for the ministry of Operation Christmas Child. You can study God’s Word together during the various seasons of Operation Christmas Child – Affirmation (giving thanks), Engagement (mission), Equipping and Support (applying God’s Word) and Campaign (putting into action the Great Commission).


Mission opportunities

Join hundreds of volunteers around the country in mission as they serve in an Operation Christmas Child processing centre. Bring your church leadership team, your youth, families, home groups – all are welcome!  Be part of the team behind the scenes as you inspect, tape, and carton shoebox gifts, then load lorries with thousands of shoebox gifts to go to church partners around the world and into the hands of the boys and girls receiving them. It’s the perfect opportunity bring your church or group’s boxes with you.


There are so many more creative ways to pack shoebox gifts. Why not share your most successful activities on our Project Leader Facebook Group?

Learn More

Packing Parties

Packing Parties are a great way to share the ministry impact of Operation Christmas Child with your church or group, especially if you are looking for a way to do things differently this year, or exploring ways to invite new people to take part.

A Packing Party is a fun community event to which everyone brings along quality new items like toys, school supplies, hygiene and other items. During the party, you will be able to communicate the heart of the project through sharing videos and stories about the amazing impact of shoebox gifts. Members of your group can then have fun packing more shoeboxes together than they would individually at home, allowing even more children to be blessed with a shoebox gift and God’s love.

Organising a Packing Party is easy — just follow the steps listed via the link below to plan your event and order or download free materials.

Host A Packing Party

Shoebox Online

Shoebox Online is a quick, fun and easy way to send a shoebox full of gifts and put a huge smile on the face of a child who may never have received a gift before!

If you are tight for time, find it difficult to get out and about, or just prefer the ease of packing online, you can now share the fun of online packing with your friends, family or group.

With a few clicks of your mouse or swipes on your touchscreen, anyone can build a shoebox online. Make it your own by choosing from a list of gifts, then type a personal letter and upload a photo. We’ll pack your shoebox and send it for you for just £20 per box, which includes a £5 project donation. Each shoebox gift built online is a heartfelt expression of God’s love to children in need.


Download Shoebox Online Resources


Create a Shoebox Online Goal Page

After a pilot in 2020, we’re adding even more features to make setting up on online goal page as easy as possible. Simply create your own group goal page, circulate your unique link and watch your shoebox tracker grow as you pack shoeboxes online together.

Create A Shoebox Online Goal Page

Church Collection Centres

Opening your church’s doors to receive Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes during National Collection Week in November provides a natural opportunity to welcome and chat to members of your local community.

Encourage them by sharing about the impact of their shoebox gifts, offer to pray with them for the children receiving them, and invite them to more of your own church activities.

At the same time, church members can enjoy being part of God’s Great Commission of sending the Good News of Jesus to children in need around the world.

“We were a Church Collection Centre for the first time in 2019. I am so glad we did it. The church was open all week with many people dropping off their boxes. There was a brilliant atmosphere. It was a great launch into the church’s Christmas activities both for the people bringing their boxes – some of whom took invitations – and for the church family as they saw the pile of boxes growing. We were also able to draw in many church members to staff the centre. This was a real encouragement to them.  We will definitely do it again!” – Tom Parsons, Vicar at Christ Church, Sidcup.

Learn More

Week of Prayer

18 – 22 October

The foundation of Operation Christmas Child is prayer, and we’d like to invite you to partner with us in prayer as we lift this year’s Operation Christmas Child campaign to God in advance of National Collection Week. Over these days, gather with us and many more of a like-minded praying community on Zoom to lift up this ministry to God.

Email us at and we’ll send you more details nearer the time.

You can also stay in the know’ about prayer needs both for and from those who collect, distribute, and receive shoebox gifts around the world throughout the year. Would you commit to pray on a regular basis for them? Join a growing network of prayer advocates for our national and international prayer requests, as a Prayer Network Partner.

Learn More

Connect Conference

Our national conference is a fantastic opportunity for you to hear more about the amazing impact of Operation Christmas Child, meet other volunteers from across the UK and hear from our keynote speaker, Pastor Dean from Liberia.

The event is a residential weekend held at Yarnfield Park Conference Centre, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 0NL over the weekend of Friday 18 to Sunday 20 March 2022.

Register your interest or find out more by emailing:


Helpful Links

How To Pack a ShoeboxVolunteerLead Your Church/Group


Have questions or suggestions? Email