Big Life Lessons in a Little Shoebox: Watching Operation Christmas Child in Action

So we’re just now getting geared up for “Operation Christmas Child” — even though we went shopping for our gifts back in early November (that’s the holidays for ya).

If you haven’t yet heard of this phenomenon by Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child is an outreach program that packages and ships shoeboxes filled with toys, supplies and other gifts to children in need throughout the world.


We donate a couple of shoeboxes every year, and though there are usually drop-off locations throughout the city in late November, we typically take ours to the processing center in Suwanee, GA to watch the packing operation in action. It’s quite the production in this ginormous, festive warehouse with all of OCC’s happy little elves hard at work on the assembly line.


My kids like not only shopping for “their kids” gifts, but also finding out what all the other kids are getting in their boxes, and where they are headed.


The facility also offers tours with kid-friendly activities that illustrate how and why the organization chooses its recipients, and what it’s like for these kids living on the other side of the world. One year, they even had an amazing little girl speaker, once an orphan and shoebox recipient, who was adopted by the couple from Georgia who donated her shoebox!

What started out for us as a simple act of giving through our kids’ school, has now turned into a fun family tradition — one that reminds us about giving and connecting with children (people) from all walks of life.

You can still pack and get your shoeboxes to a processing center through December 20th. Call to find out about scheduling a family tour.