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Christmas Shoebox Gifts

Through Operation Christmas Hope, we partner with community agencies, homeless missions, transitional living facilities, and domestic abuse shelters to mobilize volunteers in serving children facing hardship during the holiday season.

You can spread the joy and hope of the Christmas Spirit with at-risk children in your region.

Pack shoeboxes with Christmas gifts for children affected by domestic abuse, parental incarceration, homelessness, financial insecurity, and other adverse childhood situations. Drop the shoeboxes off at one of our network drop locations during the collection period, December 1-15. This is a great opportunity for churches, individuals, families, small groups, Sunday School classes, or office teams to share Christmas joy with kids in crisis.


1. Find a Shoebox. Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately.

2. Girl or Boy? Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, 10-13, or 14-17. Indicate this by placing a label on the box.

3. Fill with Gifts. Select a quality “wow” toy such as a doll, soccer ball with pump, or stuffed animal. Then add other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.


  • Any toys (except guns/violent toys) and extra batteries for toys that need them
  • Educational board games or puzzles
  • Legos/building blocks
  • Sports Gear: Nerf footballs, soccer balls, etc.
  • Clothing and Accessories: T-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), new socks, pajamas, underwear, etc.
  • Dolls and action figures
  • School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
  • Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, bath sets w/ combs and brushes, etc.
  • Crafts: Make your own items such as hair bows, finger puppets, and friendship bracelets.
  • A personal note.


  • Art kits
  • School supplies
  • Books
  • Electronics (MP3 players, portable CD/DVD players)
  • Sports equipment (footballs, basketballs)
  • Perfume/bath and body products
  • New clothes in season (jeans, sweatshirts, hoodies)
  • Journals
  • DVD movies (PG or G only)
  • Nightgowns/robes
  • Hygiene items (soaps, gels, lotions, body spray, cologne)
  • Gift cards (retail stores and fast food chains)
  • Movie tickets or theme park/zoo passes
  • Watches

Do Not Include: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

4. Pray. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. You can also include a personal note and photo.

5. Drop-Off. Take your shoebox gift to a local/regional drop-off location during the collection period (noted above).

Please fill out this volunteer form for more information about a drop location in your area.

Want to give but can’t pack your own shoebox? You can make a tax-deductible donation and we will distribute the gift for you. The average donation per shoebox is $25.