from Jean Catton at Grays Baptist Church

The Samaritan’s Purse ‘Operation Christmas Child’ campaign runs from 1-18 November.

Grays Baptist Church has been asked to be an official ‘Drop-off Point’ again this year, and the church will be open to receive shoeboxes between 10am and 2pm on the following days:

  • imagesMonday 7 November
  • Wednesday 9 November
  • Friday 11 November
  • Monday 14 November
  • Tuesday 15 November
  • Wednesday 16 November
  • Thursday 17 November
  • Friday 18 November

Other arrangements can be made if it is impossible to drop-off at these times.

Please ring Jean Catton on 01 375 374 275 for further information.

How to do a shoebox
Giving a shoebox gift to a child in need is simple with Operation Christmas Child. You wrap and pack it, we check and send it, and our in-country partners deliver it to a child. It starts in your hands and ends up in theirs.OCC shoebox dim

Below are 5 simple steps to doing a shoebox with Operation Christmas Child:

1. Find an empty shoebox
The shoebox should ideally be medium size, as shown. Wrap the lid and the box separately in wrapping paper (before going on to insert your gifts).

OCC stickers2. Decide if your gift is for a boy or girl
Download from the Operation Christmas Child website (see below) a copy of our boy/girl labels, as part of our online leaflet. Then tick the appropriate age box on the sticker provided, remove it from the leaflet and stick on the outside of the lid (in the top right corner). Make sure the label is secure.

3. Fill your box with gifts
You can use the gift ideas list found here for inspiration. Please DO NOT include items in the ‘No Thanks’ list below.

Choosing gifts to put in your shoebox is a really fun part of getting involved in Operation Christmas Child. There is something very rewarding about giving to a child you will probably never meet in this world – especially when you know your simple act of kindness will be felt and appreciated in more ways than you can ever imagine.

Once you have decided whether to give your shoebox to a boy or girl, you need to think carefully about gifts that would be most appropriate for the age group you have selected.

P.S. Before you spend all your money on great shoebox gifts, don’t forget to put £2.50 aside for the shoebox donation for every shoebox you donate.

Yes Please! We’d love you to choose from each of these 4 categories:

  • OCC gift 3Toys: Bear, soft toy, tennis ball, finger puppet, jigsaw, yo-yo, building blocks, small musical instrument. For boys;trucks and cars, for girls;dolls, clip on earrings, etc.
  • Educational Supplies: Felt pens, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, eraser, colouring book, notepad, picture or puzzle book, chalk, pencil case, stickers, etc.
  • Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, hair clips, bar of soap, flannel, etc.
  • Other Items: Sweets (sell-by date to be at least March of the following year), gloves, scarf, sunglasses, cap, hat, bangles, necklaces etc.
  • All gifts should be new, please include items from each category.

No Thanks! Please note the items we do not wish to be included in the shoeboxes:

  • No Food especially chocolate – non-chocolate sweets are allowed
  • No medicine or vitamins of any kind
  • No war related items toy guns, soldiers or knives of any kind
  • No clothing other than listed above
  • No fragile items glass containers, mirrors.
  • No liquids including blow bubbles, shampoo, bubble bath, toiletry sets or aerosols.
  • No dangerous items sharp objects, scissors or razors
  • No novels
  • Nothing of a political nature
  • No hand-knitted stuffed toys without a CE mark


  • Due to import regulations, all gifts should be new and comply with the conditions listed above. Please make sure your gifts are age appropriate and that you do not send any items in a shoebox (intended for a small child), which might be swallowed or mistaken for sweets.
  • Should you inadvertently include any item that is not suitable or might be regarded as dangerous for the intended child, Samaritan’s Purse reserves the right to remove that item and use it for the benefit of the charity. Occasionally we have to change the contents to meet specific country requirements or change the shoebox to meet our approximate dimensions.

OCC gift 44. Make your donation
We suggest a minimum of £2.50 donation per shoebox – which helps ensure your shoebox gets to where it needs to go. Please donate online if at all possible – so we can tell you where your shoebox went. If not, please complete the donation slip from the downloaded OCC leaflet, enclose a cash or cheque donation, and then place the payment/slip in your shoebox on top of the contents.

OCC gift 55. Drop off your shoebox
Ensure your shoebox is secured with a rubber band around the outside.Take your shoebox to your nearest drop off point between November 1st – 18th. You can use our online locator to find your nearest drop off point. To find out what happens next, visit our The Journey of a Shoebox page… (see below).

See also:

  • – includes stirring video
  • – tells you what you can and can’t put in your shoebox + links to download stickers etc.
  • – where your shoebox goes

Sam Purse logo