Unusual Christmas Gifts—Shoeboxes Filled with Toys—Bring Joy to Children in Dominican Republic

12-Year-Old Girl from Wisconsin to Deliver Global Charity's 100 Millionth Shoebox Gift

After a trip across the country, Operation Christmas Child's 100 millionth shoebox gift will be hand-delivered to a child in need in the Dominican Republic just in time for Christmas.

12-year-old Evilyn Pinnow started a Shoebox Club when she was just eight years old to help kids less fortunate. When Operation Christmas Child heard about her passion and ambition for the project, they thought she was the perfect fit to carry the 100 millionth shoebox gift across the country and celebrate this milestone with local volunteers. 

"When I started the Shoebox Club, I never thought I’d be part of a project that would help 100 million needy kids," said Evilyn. "I can’t wait to see the look on the face of the young girl who receives this special box. It will be the experience of a lifetime."

On Nov. 8, Evilyn's journey began in her hometown of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, with a Shoebox Club packing party. There, kids from her club made a special wrapping paper for the box out of their own handprints. Following this event, Evilyn traveled to nine cities across the U.S. where local volunteers added a unique item to the box. The tour will culminate on Wednesday, Dec. 5, in the Dominican Republic where Evilyn will personally hand-deliver the 100 millionth shoebox gift to a child living in extreme poverty. 

Packed inside the special box are colored pencils, a stuffed animal, a jump rope, candy canes, toiletries and more to help bring Christmas cheer and eternal hope to the young child who will receive it. In addition to the 100 millionth shoebox, more than 450 gift-filled shoeboxes will be distributed to children in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on Wednesday.

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. It's not too late to pack a shoebox gift. You can go to samaritanspurse.org to pack a box online and personalize it with a photo and a letter.