Ideas for Churches

Shoeboxes are an incredible opportunity to show God’s love in action, as well as share God’s love in words, reaching children in need through the local church.

You can do this during your church service by:

  • Beginning and ending with Operation Christmas Child focused prayers
  • Reading Operation Christmas Child stories
  • Watching Operation Christmas Child videos


  • Prayer is the cornerstone of Operation Christmas Child, and we encourage you to make prayer the foundation of all your planning and activities.
  • If there is a prayer ministry group in your church, share requests to pray for opportunities to integrate Operation Christmas Child into outreach and missions plans for the year.
  • Encourage your church prayer groups to pray during National Collection Week 13-20th November.


 Launch Event

  • Host a Shoebox Sunday Celebration for Operation Christmas Child. Show a video to share the heart of the Operation Christmas Child ministry.
  • Cast the vision for making Operation Christmas Child a mission opportunity for the entire congregation.
  • Purchase our decorative GO Boxes with How to Pack a Shoebox leaflet placed inside to give to members of the congregation.  Order from our Resources Page


 Dedication Service (Sunday before the cut-off date of 20 November)

  • Have one girl and one boy come forward and pray over the gifts during the service.
  • The pastor’s message can be about giving to the poor, fulfilling the Great Commission, and other lessons on showing the love of Christ to the world.


 Youth Event

  • Each teen puts together a team that consists of himself/herself and 3 non-churched friends from school. They all participate in a scavenger hunt where they ask people to donate items to be placed in shoe boxes. Go to a dentist office and ask for toothbrushes, local stores to ask for school supplies etc. The teens have a list of things to find and then meet back at church to pack boxes.
  • Serve at the local Operation Christmas Child shoebox Processing Centre (for those 13 and older). Contact us at for information on locations and how to get involved.


 Children’s Church/Sunday School

  • Take an empty shoebox and ask the kids, “How many of these boxes would it take to hold everything in your bedroom?” Most kids will say 500 or 1000, etc. Remind them that the children receiving these boxes have very few possessions. This helps a child understand just how needy the kids receiving the gifts really are.
  • Present an oversized box, one that is a tub/large plastic container and has enough items inside to fill 4-5 standard size shoeboxes. Explain the reason for distributing gift items into several standard size boxes instead of one large package so that more children will receive boxes.
  • Download our Operation Christmas Child Children’s resources:


Lola’s Lion

Lola, a lonely little girl living in an orphanage, receives an adventurous cuddly toy lion in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. The gift and a child’s letter enclosed in the box help Lola experience God’s love. Her uplifting story is perfect for children and their families, showing the difference that a simple, prayerfully packed shoebox can have in a life.

Download Video

Download Discussion Guide


Engage with your local schools through the Christmas Values programme 

  • Develop meaningful relationships with your local school by helping to deliver Religious Education as well as other aspects of the curriculum, while at the same time, sharing about the mission of Operation Christmas Child and packing more shoeboxes for children across the world.
  • ‘Christmas Values’ is a 4 lesson course designed in partnership with teachers and education trusts across the UK. It is a curriculum based program, designed around the Christmas story from the Bible.
  • The lessons seek to share the real story of Christmas through a thematic program of values. While exploring these values of fairness, generosity, esteem and individuality, we hope to demonstrate the importance and impact of Operation Christmas Child, as well as other compassion based charities.
  • These lessons help deliver the RE and SMSC curriculum, fundamental British values, as well as helping with literacy skills through writing and discussion. The course is targeted at Key Stage 2.

Sample resource:

Lesson 4 example

Register your interest to support a school




  • Why not arrange a group trip to your nearest processing center and check shoeboxes together as a church? For details of your nearest team contact:
  • For year round volunteer opportunities, please contact us at and you will be contacted by the Regional Manager for your area, who will be delighted to discuss the various options with you.



Resources Hub