Charlotte Sends Hope to Child Refugees of Syria

Samaritan’s Purse Airlifts More than 65,000 Gifts for Young War Victims

President of Samaritan’s Purse Franklin Graham recently visited Syrian refugee camps in northern Iraq and talked with families about the struggles they are enduring. They fled their homes, leaving everything behind, and are now living in frigid temperatures. Many have been traumatized by the conflict, especially the children. While critical needs of housing and food are being met in these refugee camps, the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child wants to ensure that the tens of thousands of children know they are loved and not forgotten.

Next week, Samaritan’s Purse will airlift more than 65,000 gift-filled shoeboxes from Charlotte, N.C., for special delivery to northern Iraq, where they will work with local partners to deliver the gifts to Syrian children living in refugee camps and surrounding areas. All of the Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts headed to Syrian refugees were prepared for delivery at the Processing Center in Charlotte.

WHAT: Airlift of more than 65,000 shoebox gifts to young Syrians living in Iraqi refugee camps and surrounding areas            

WHEN: Fri, Jan. 17 

WHERE: Charlotte-Douglas International Airport
               4100 Yorkmont Road
               Charlotte, NC Gate 40
               (Designated media parking is just outside the gate.)   


  • 8 a.m.: Anticipated arrival and loading of Boeing 747-400 cargo jet with more than 65,000 shoebox gifts
  • 10:00 a.m.: Interviews with Franklin Graham and Operation Christmas Child staff directing airlift operations
  • Afternoon: Departure of cargo jet to Erbil, Iraq 

On-Site Media Contact: Alison Geist, 404.277.4557

Samaritan’s Purse has been helping Syrian refugees in northern Iraq since August, when Iraq offered asylum to Syrians caught in the crossfire of civil war. Samaritan’s Purse has provided relief items such as food, shoes, diapers, heaters, mattresses and household relief kits to refugees.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered more than 112 million shoebox gifts—filled with toys, school supplies, necessity items, photos and notes of encouragement—to children suffering the effects of war, disease, poverty, famine and natural disaster. In 2013, Operation Christmas Child collected more than 9.9 million gift-filled shoeboxes—2 million of which were prepared for shipment at the Charlotte Processing Center. 

For more information on Samaritan’s Purse or Operation Christmas Child, call 800.353.5949 or visit