Holiday Giving: New Technology Keeps Needy Kids on Shopping Lists

Still Time for Americans to Pack Gift-Filled Shoeboxes Through Online Tool

During Operation Christmas Child's National Collection Week more than 8 million colorful shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies and other items were dropped off at churches and other facilities around the country. While those gift-filled boxes are now in the process of being shipped to kids in need around the world, a new "online" program will allow you to add your gifts to the mix this year.

Even though National Collection Week is over, it's not too late to pack a shoebox. Operation Christmas Child has launched an online tool offering a personalized and convenient way to send Christmas gifts to even more children.

"One more shoebox means one more child—one more life that can have hope and joy this Christmas," said Melanie Ryden, a San Diego volunteer who has participated in Operation Christmas Child since 2005. "The power of a simple shoebox gift is incredible."

The process to build a box online is simple: At samaritanspurse.org, donors select a child's age and gender; shop through an online selection of toys, necessity items and school supplies; and finish it off with a personalized note of encouragement. The gift boxes will be assembled by volunteers at Operation Christmas Child's processing center in Charlotte. Through tracking technology, donors can also follow the box to find out where it will be delivered.  

"In just minutes, you can highly customize your gifts to bring hope to a child in a desperate situation," said Jim Harrelson, vice president of Operation Christmas Child. "This process is unlike anything we've ever done, and it will allow even more children to receive gift-filled shoeboxes. We want each of these children to know the true meaning of Christmas."

Operation Christmas Child—the world's largest Christmas project—is part of the international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 77 million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children in more than 130 countries.  

For information on Operation Christmas Child, call 800.353.5949 or visit samaritanspurse.org

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