12-Year-Old Hosts 10-City Celebration for World’s Largest Christmas Project—Reaching 100M Kids

U.S. Volunteers Help Pack the 100 Millionth Shoebox Gift—Bound for a Needy Child this December

Evilyn Pinnow says age isn't a factor when it comes to changing the world. Pinnow was just eight years old when she founded the Shoebox Club to collect items and pack shoebox gifts for needy kids around the world. Four years later, the club has not only grown to approximately 80 members and a board of officers, but Pinnow is also consulting with kids across the country who want to start their own Shoebox Clubs.

Today Evilyn has another ambition: rallying volunteers across the U.S. to help Operation Christmas Child meet a major collection milestone, 100 million gift-filled shoeboxes. In November, Evilyn will leave her small hometown of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin to make nine more stops on a nationwide tour to pack the 100 millionth shoebox gift, which she will hand deliver to a child in the Dominican Republic in time for Christmas.

"Celebrating Operation Christmas Child's 100 millionth shoebox gift means reaching 100 million children with hope—through a simple gift-filled shoebox," said Pinnow. "I don’t know about you, but 100 million kids getting a shoebox gift is a hard number for me to imagine. That's lots of millions!"

10-City Christmas Celebration:

  • Fort Atkinson/Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Nov. 8-9

  • Sacramento, California, Nov. 10

  • Nashville, Tennesee, Nov. 12

  • Tupelo, Mississippi, Nov. 13

  • New York City, Nov. 15

  • Orange County, California, Nov. 24

  • Denver, Nov. 26

  • Minneapolis, Nov. 30

  • Boone, North Carolina, Dec. 3

  • Charlotte, North Carolina, Dec. 4

Once the shoebox gift is filled, Pinnow will hand-deliver it to a special child in need on Dec. 5.

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. Operation Christmas Child plans to collect 9 million gift-filled shoeboxes in 2012.

By using tracking technology, participants can "follow" their box to the destination country where it will be given to a child in need. To register shoebox gifts and find out the destination country, use the "Follow Your Box" function found at samaritanspurse.org. For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 800.353.5949 or visit samaritanspurse.org. National Collection Week for gift-filled shoeboxes is Nov.12-19; however, shoebox gifts are collected all year at the Samaritan's Purse headquarters in Boone.