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Filled with practical items such as pencils, paper, soap and socks, as well as fun items such as stuffed animals, toys and candy, Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts have put smiles on the faces of more than 94 million children around the world, including in Panama.
Photo courtesy of Operation Christmas Child

Originally published: 2012-11-07 12:39:49
Last modified: 2012-11-07 12:39:49

Samaritan’s Purse collects shoeboxes Nov. 12 to 19

by Anna Oakes

Through Operation Christmas Child, Watauga County families, businesses, schools and churches join tens of thousands of people across the U.S. to fill empty shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and necessity items for impoverished children around the world.

In 2012, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone — collecting and delivering shoeboxes to more than 100 million children since the project began in 1993.

From Nov. 12 to 19, packed gifts will be dropped off at the Samaritan’s Purse Office in Boone.

Once dropped off, the shoeboxes are processed, prepared and transported to suffering children in more than 100 countries using whatever means necessary — trains, airplanes, boats, elephants, bikes and even dog sleds — to get the shoeboxes into the hands of needy kids.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind.

By using special tracking technology, participants can follow their shoebox and discover the country in which their gift will be hand-delivered to a child in need. To register your shoebox gift, use the “Follow Your Box” form online.

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, or to find the nearest drop-off site, call (704) 583-1463 or visit