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 26 years, the Samaritan’s Purse project has collected and delivered more than 168 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories—and expects to collect another 11 million shoebox gifts this year!

The Greater Portland Operation

2018 was the fifth 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 244 shoeboxes and sent all those children through the Greatest Journey Discipleship class.

This year we'd love to see see GPBC send 250 shoeboxes filled with gifts and hope to kids around the world AND to see every one of those 250 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. For complete instructions for what to pack in and how to pack a shoebox...

How to pack a shoebox

Just don’t pack it like Uncle Si…

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 gift to and shares the Gospel with one special child.


Drop off your boxes in the lobby of Greater Portland on November 17 or 24.

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 November 17 or 24, you may drop if off at the church office November 18-22 during office hours, or look up an alternate location at samaritanspurse.org/occ/drop-off-locations/ for drop-off centers available throughout the city, November 15-25.)

If you have questions or would like to be more involved by serving on the Operation Christmas Child Team in 2019, contact Marilynn Linscheid at or 503.705.3135.


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, or military figures; chocolate or food; seeds; fruit rolls or other fruit snacks; drink mixes (powdered or liquid); liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; toothpaste; 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. (We will have extra rubberbands at church if you need one.)

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 Sunday.

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 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 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.