Operation Christmas Child

How to Pack a Shoebox

Each year thousands of people like you generously pack shoebox gifts to bring great joy and the Good News of Jesus Christ to children around the world. Find out all you need to know about how to pack your shoebox gift below. The majority of drop-off locations have now closed for this year but we have an exciting online challenge to pack 100,000 shoebox gifts for children in need! Learn more

Step 1
Step 1

Find a Shoebox

Get an empty medium sized shoebox, and wrap the box and lid separately in colourful wrapping paper or order preprinted shoeboxes online. Attach the boy/girl label to the top of your shoebox. Mark if your gift is for a boy or a girl and select an age category 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14.

Step 2
Step 2

Fill with gifts

Fill your shoebox with a selection of fun toys, hygiene items and school supplies. If possible, include one or two extra special items you know a child will love such as a doll, cuddly toy or deflated football with pump. See our Gift Suggestions below for more ideas.

Step 3
Step 3

Make your project donation

A suggested donation of £5 is essential to cover project costs, including shipping, to enable a local church or group overseas to lead a safe, well-organised children's event where your shoebox will be given to a child in need. More detail on what your donation covers here.

Give online at Follow Your Box and you can print out a barcode and place it inside your shoebox on top of the contents. This will enable us to tell you which country your shoebox gets sent to.
Donate Online &
Follow Your Box

Or you can post your donation to Victoria House, Victoria Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex, IG9 5EX using the prepaid envelope on our leaflet. Cheques should be payable to ‘Samaritan's Purse’ and signed and dated with your address on the back. If you are packing multiple shoeboxes you can write a cheque for one combined donation.

Note: Follow Your Box is only available when you donate online.

Step 4
Step 4

Personalise & Pray

Personalise your shoebox by including a hand written note and a photograph of yourself, your group or your family. You may also like to pray for the child that will receive your gift.

Step 5
Step 5

Drop Off Your Shoebox

Place a rubber band around each closed shoebox and take it to a local Drop-off Location.

National Collection Week was 13-20 November, but shoebox gifts can still be taken to our processing centres – details of which can be found here.

Quick Tools

Order Resources
Order leaflets and posters and encourage others to get involved.

Order Now

Need More Labels?
A full page of printer-friendly boy/girl labels for multiple shoebox gifts.

See More

Need Boxes for a Large Group?
You can purchase preprinted boxes in sets of 50 or 100.

Order Preprinted Boxes

Gift Suggestions



A football and pump, cuddly toys, dolls, toy cars, small musical instruments, yo-yos, skipping ropes, balls, small puzzles etc.


School Supplies

Pens, pencils & sharpeners, crayons or felt pens, stamps & ink pad sets, writing pads or notebooks, solar calculators, colouring & picture books etc.


Hygiene Items

Toothbrush, bars of wrapped soap, comb or hairbrush, flannel etc.


Other Items

Hat, gloves, scarf, sunglasses, cap, socks, T-shirt, flip-flops, hair accessories, jewellery set, watch, wind-up torch etc.



Toothpaste, sweets, lotions and liquids; used or damaged items; war-related items; seeds, gum, chocolate or food items; religious or political literature; medicines, aerosol cans, sharp or fragile items.

Items packed from this list will be removed from shoeboxes. Read more about this process.

Not sure about an item? Check our FAQs.

Download Gift Suggestions

No time to pack your own shoebox?

You can Build a Shoebox Online in less than 5 minutes!