While Operation Christmas Child is normally something that comes up during the holidays, this year we are working to spread out our donations throughout the year so we can impact the lives of children around the world for Christ this coming holiday season.

Every year, OCC collects shoebox gifts— filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items—and delivers them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way. For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received.

As an optional resource, OCC now has an Amazon Storefront with additional lists of quality items that are recommended for shoeboxes. As you shop, don't forget to ask God to lead you to what will particularly delight the heart of a child.

What NOT to bring:

Do not include candy; toothpaste; used or damaged items; war‑related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; seeds; chocolate or food; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items, such as snow globes or glass containers; or aerosol cans.

What to bring:

While the boxes are usually age specific, each box should contain items from one of these 5 categories. For more details on gifts for specific ages see here. You can also find a curated list of gifts put together by OCC on Amazon. 

-“WOW” Items-

Every shoebox should always start with a good quality “wow” item. These will capture the child’s attention the instant he or she opens the box. For our purposes, “wow” items will determine how many boxes we can pack, so having these is super helpful. Below are some general examples: 

Doll, soccer ball (with manual air pump), stuffed animal, clothing (like a jacket or other nice item), small musical instrument, backpack

Debbie Bird also found some great resources for specific “WOW” items that can be purchased online:

  • Soccer ball w/ pump 6 pack (we recommend getting size 4 balls as they will allow plenty of room of other items in the box)
  • ‘The Shoe That Grows’ (these sandals expand up to 5 sizes and last for years. Be sure to use this link, as shoes ordered for OCC purposes are slightly discounted)
  • Recorder pack (these can be disassembled so they fit into boxes)
-Personal Care Items-

Comb, hairbrush, toothbrush, washcloth, adhesive bandages (colorful ones help a child be more willing to put one on), reusable plastic container (water bottle, cup, plate, bowl, blunt utensils), blanket, non-liquid lip-balm, flashlight (solar powered or hand crank is best), compact mirror, nail clippers, nail file, stick deodorant, washable/reusable menstrual pads

-Clothing & Accessories-

Shirts, pants, loose fitting sundress, underwear, shoes, socks, flip flops, hat, scarf, mittens, sunglasses, tote bag, purse, hair bows, friendship bracelets, wrist watch, beaded jewelry, hair accessories, bandana

-Crafts & School Supplies-

Pencils, small manual pencil sharpener, colored pencils, pencil case, crayons, markers, pens, coloring pads, coloring books, picture books, notebooks, glue stick (no liquid glues), blank index cards, solar-powered calculator, safety scissors, ruler, protractor, small adhesive tape, watercolor set, DIY craft sets/kits, play dough (consider including plastic cookie cutters or other items to play with), stickers, skipping/jump rope, building blocks, chalk, binoculars, puzzle, compass, tool set and work gloves, fishing kit, brightly colored rope/twine, gardening kit (no seeds), magnets, kaleidoscope, playing cards, marbles, sewing kit, fabric, ribbons, laminated decorative pictures with looped ribbon attached as a picture hanger


Foam ball, kickball (be sure to include air pump), finger puppets, slinky, tiny etch a sketch, interactive toys that include push buttons/lights/noise (include extra batteries), tennis ball, play cars/trucks/boats, plastic dinosaurs, costume to play dress up, costume jewelry, plastic toy figures, yo-yo, small frisbee, small kite, baseball and mitt, hacky sack, toy cars, kaleidescope, marbles

For any questions or concerns please reach out to us at info@ridgeonline.org