Shoebox Gift Stories
Laughing girl holding teddy and shoebox



In 2018, our supporters packed an amazing 511,200 shoebox gifts that were sent to 11 countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East!

Shoebox gifts impact whole communities around the world and help to equip thousands of churches and groups who have few resources, to reach out to children in need. In addition, your love and generosity shows the individual children who receive your shoeboxes that you love them and also that God loves them as they get to hear from local churches the Christmas story of the greatest gift of all – Jesus.

We thank God for our shoebox packers and for the millions of children in need that have received shoeboxes since Operation Christmas Child began taking messages of good news and great joy around the world. We hope you will be inspired by the following videos and photos of children who received a shoebox in 2018.


Some of our favourite photos from around the world:





Jana holding shoebox items“Life can be tough when your living conditions are poor, but little Jana has an energy and enthusiasm for life that is contagious. She loved her shoebox gift and proudly showed off her favourite item, a large hairbrush. She jumped around excitedly in her new hat, as she explored every item in her shoebox gift.”




10 year old Benjamin has 5 brothers and sisters and said that he had never before received anything that he felt really belonged to him! When he received his shoebox gift, he was so happy to be given a whole box! Beni’s family find it hard to manage, so they don’t have the opportunity to buy toys. His parents are so busy that they do not have much time for their children, though they would like to. Everything Beni received in the box has brought such a big happiness. Beni learned about God’s greatest gift to us his Son Jesus and he asked Jesus to come into his heart.



“We shared shoeboxes at a new school for the first time. The school is small, and many kids from this school are poor. When we came into the first class, I saw a little blond girl with big open eyes…She looked so poor wearing old clothes, and messy hair. On the count of three the children opened their shoeboxes together, and we saw the joy on their faces. The blond girl opened hers and saw a Frozen hairbrush, and also some Frozen hair accessories. She was so excited that she started to jump around. Some time ago her mother came to our church, because our pastor knows her from before. She just came to say that her daughter dreamed about having a Frozen hairbrush and accessories, but she doesn’t have money to buy them for her and then she got them in a shoebox!”



“In the village of Konevetz, there are many poor families. We were able to go there and the children welcomed us with great joy and excitement. Four of the children started crying when we gave them gifts. Later people from the church there explained to us that the children come from a family of an alcoholic father and a mother who has to work very hard to make ends meet. The children had never received a gift before. Now they attend the church together with their mother and they pray that the father will start coming with them as well.”



Pille received a shoebox gift as a child in Estonia and now lives in the UK.

Shoebox recipient Pille holding a shoebox and the Estonian Flag

She said, “I vividly remember the day we received our shoeboxes. As a child I used to play that wonderful day over and over in my mind…  The things I remember having in my box were a colouring book, pens, pencils and toys. Also inside was a photo of the family who the box had come from and that made me really feel special, to see the family who had sent this gift for me. I treasured that photo.”

Looking back Pille recalls that the outreach event was the first time I heard about Jesus.  Read More






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.

You can be a part of helping us “go and make disciples of all nations” as Jesus commanded. Sign up for a monthly gift of £5, and each year you will give 12 children study materials, a New Testament, and the opportunity to share their faith with family and friends.

 THANK YOU for sharing Good News and Great Joy with children around the world!