BOONE, N.C., Feb. 1, 2019 — Because of the generosity of donors across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, collected more than 8.8 million shoeboxes in 2018. Packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, these gifts bring joy and the eternal hope of the Gospel to children around the world.

“It’s incredible to see the difference a simple shoebox gift can make in the life of a child. They bring the message of unconditional love and forgiveness found only in Jesus Christ,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “There’s still nothing like seeing how one gift can impact the eternal destiny of a child.”

Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2018, the ministry is now sending more than 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children in more than 100 countries.

Many children who receive shoebox gifts will also enroll in Operation Christmas Child’s 12-lesson discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. This program teaches children about God’s amazing love and guides them through what it means to faithfully follow Jesus Christ. Since 2009, 14.9 million children have participated in the program. Every child who graduates is given a New Testament in their own language.

Although local drop-off locations for gifts are closed until Nov. 18 – 25, 2019, anyone can still be a part of this life changing project by conveniently packing a shoebox gift online at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline.

Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, more than 168 million Operation Christmas Child gift-filled shoeboxes have been distributed to children in more than 160 countries and territories. To learn about year-round and seasonal volunteer opportunities or to serve with Operation Christmas Child, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ.