“Life-Size Shoeboxes” Take NYC, Encourage City to Pack Christmas Gifts for Needy Kids Worldwide

From Across the U.S., Volunteers Gather in Manhattan to Help World's Largest Christmas Project

WHAT: One hundred volunteers, traveling from as far as Washington State, are gathering in New York City to encourage people to pack shoebox gifts for needy children around the world. Each volunteer will be dressed in a shoebox gift costume and represent one of 100 countries where children will receive gift-filled shoeboxes through Operation Christmas Child—a project of Samaritan’s Purse, the international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham.

WHEN: Thu, Nov. 10, 2011


Shoebox characters can be seen in several popular Manhattan locations, such as:

  • Flatiron District
  • Grand Central Station
  • Herald Square/Fashion District
  • Rockefeller Center/Fifth Avenue
  • SoHo/Chinatown/Little Italy
  • Times Square/Theater District

Coverage Opportunities:

  • Life-size shoebox characters scattered throughout New York City landmarks telling pedestrians how they can participate in Operation Christmas Child and pack Christmas gifts for children overseas.
  • Shoebox gift recipient from a Russian orphanage who knows firsthand the hope a simple shoebox gift can provide. Now 21 years old and living in the U.S., Oksana Nelson packs shoebox gifts to help hurting children. Giving comes full circle.
  • New York City kids who have learned the "gift of giving" through Operation Christmas Child. Ten-year-old Jeremiah Burch of Manhattan has been packing shoebox gifts for needy kids since he was 4. Last year he starred as Chip in Broadway's national tour of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.  
  • Teenage ambassadors who traveled to Uganda and Bolivia to hand out shoebox gifts.
  • Volunteers who have traveled from 12 states who believe in the power of a simple gift.
  • Project organizers who have traveled the world delivering shoebox gifts to hurting children.
4 – 7 p.m.:
  • Mega shoebox packing party at Madison Square Garden. In three hours, volunteers plan to pack 5,000 shoebox gifts—enough to stack twice the height of the Empire State Building.

Anyone can participate in Operation Christmas Child. Simply take an empty shoebox, fill it with toys, school supplies and other gifts for a boy or girl age 2 to 14, and drop it off next week—Nov. 14 – 21—at one of more than 3,200 collection points across all 50 states. To find out more, visit samaritanspurse.org.

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered over 86 million shoebox gifts. This year's goal is to reach 8.5 million children.