Operation Christmas Child

The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world. For 28 years, the Samaritan’s Purse project has collected and delivered more than 188 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 170 countries. Last year alone it collected nearly 10 million shoeboxes. 

The Greater Portland Operation

2020 was the seventh year that the entire faith community of Greater Portland Bible Church caught the shoebox bug. Our children and youth led the way and we packed nearly 200 shoeboxes and sent all those children through the Greatest Journey Discipleship class.

Now more than ever, children need great joy!

This year we'd love to see see GPBC send 200 shoeboxes filled with gifts and hope to kids around the world AND to see every one of those 200 children enrolled in The Greatest Journey discipleship program. However, that goal is only met with your involvement!

Ways You Can Get Involved

A shoebox filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies tangibly demonstrates God’s love to a child in need.


You can give boys and girls in need of that tangible expression of God’s love gift-filled shoebox packed from your computer or handheld device. In just a few clicks, you can select toys and other fun items to include as well as a letter and photo to delight the heart of a child. After they pack and ship shoeboxes like yours overseas, local believers share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with children as they distribute them. As a result, families are reached, new churches are started, and communities are transformed.

$25 build and ships a shoebox to an extraordinary child somewhere around the world. An additional gift of $6 gives the child the gift of the Greatest Journey Discipleship Course. 

It all begins with you.

Pack a shoebox online today!


 Go shopping and handpick all the shoebox items yourself for your special child. For complete instructions for what to pack in and how to pack a shoebox...

How to pack a shoebox

What does packing a shoebox look like in the year 2021? 

Remember to pray that God will touch the heart of every child who receives a shoebox gift, and that many children and families will come to faith in Jesus Christ.


Help cover shipping and other costs related to delivering your shoeboxes to children overseas by donating $9 for each gift you prepare. If you are preparing multiple gifts, please make one combined donation. Checks are made payable to “Samaritan’s Purse” with “OCC” in the memo line and placed in an envelope on top of the items inside one of your shoeboxes. (Envelopes available in the church lobby.)

If you would like to track where your box goes, you can make all your donations online and sign up for “Follow Your Box.” You will receive special barcode labels to affix to your boxes. 

Note: “Follow Your Box” is only available through online giving.


Your shoebox is just the first step to transforming a young life for eternity. With an additional gift you can also give a child the opportunity to enroll in The Greatest Journey follow-up discipleship program that teaches children about salvation through Jesus Christ. Just $6 can provide a child with a 12-lesson Bible program and New Testament.

We’d love to give every child who receives a shoebox the greatest gift of Jesus himself. Combined with the shipping donation, $15 total (made out to "Samaritan's Purse) sends your shoebox to, and shares the Gospel with, one special child.


We'll be collecting your packed-at-home boxes on the following dates/times/locations. 

  • Sunday, November 21 at our 10:30am Community Sunday worship service
  • Monday-Thursday, November 15-18, 9am-4pm at the church office
  • Sunday, November 14, 10:30am in the church lobby (If you are unable to come to our Community Sunday celebration on November 21, you are also welcome to drop your box off a week early in the lobby.)

The Operation Christmas Child Team will then take them to a Portland collection center en route to the children they will bless.

(If you are not able to bring your box to GPBC on the above dates and times, you may look up an alternate location at samaritanspurse.org/occ/drop-off-locations/ for drop-off centers available throughout the city, November 15-22.)

If you have questions or would like to be more involved by serving on the Operation Christmas Child Team in 2021, contact Cindy Nordlund at .


Q. What should I put in my shoebox?

Click to see a list of gift suggestions.

Q. What should I avoid putting in my shoebox?

Used or damaged items; candy; toothpaste; used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, camou, or military figures; food of any kind; seeds; drink mixes (powdered or liquid); liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

Q. Do I have to use a cardboard shoebox?

No, you may also use a similarly-sized plastic storage container with a removable lid or other similarly-sized box.

Q. Can I wrap or decorate my shoebox?

Yes, but please remember to wrap the lid separately, so it can be inspected by Samaritan's Purse volunteers. Take a rubberband and place it around your shoebox to help keep the lid on the box. 

Q. I don't have a child label to affix to my box. Where can I get one?

You can print yourself out one by clicking here, or we'll have some on hand in the lobby on Sundays.

Q. How can I know where my box was delivered?

If you make your shipping donation online, you can discover the destination of your shoebox using the "Follow Your Box" tool. You pay online and then receive a unique barcode that you affix to the top of your box. If you are tracking more than one box, you will use the same barcode label for each box. Once your box is delivered, you will be notified via email about the country or countries that your box(es) were delivered to.

Q. What does the $15 cover? Can I send cash?

$9 covers the shipping costs associated with sending a packed-at-home box across the globe. $6 enrolls a child in The Greatest Journey discipleship program. We prefer that these donations be made by check (to "Samaritan's Purse") or by using the online donation option.

Q. If I pack more than one shoebox, can I write one check for all of them?

Yes, you may write one check for them all, and place it on top of the gifts inside any one of your shoeboxes.

Q. If I Build a Box Online, what does my $25 donation cover?

It will include the box, all gifts and items inside, an optional custom note and picture, and the shipping cost to deliver the box to a special child. It does not include enrollment in The Greatest Journey Discipleship Course. Never fear, though, you have the option to add discipleship opportunity for your child for an additional $6 before you check out. 

Q. If I pay to follow my box online, how do I also give to the discipleship program?

The Samaritan's Purse website will ask you if you would like to contribute to The Greatest Journey discipleship program during the "Follow Your Box" donation process. Just multiply the number of your boxes by $6 and enter the donation amount when asked. That way you can give to everything at once.

Q. If I make all my donations online, do I need to include anything besides my child's gifts inside my shoebox?

Nope. You are all set.