Two women standing behind festive shoe boxes, filled with various items.

Operation Christmas Child is a nonprofit organization operating through Samaritan’s Purse which provides children all around the world with necessities and toys alike.

While Operation Christmas Child is primarily active throughout the months leading up to the holiday season, this organization is accepting donations all year long. If you’re unable to donate financially but would like to give to this cause, there are many volunteer opportunities available year-round.

These “Connect Volunteers” work on many different areas of this organization, as Operation Christmas Child is committed to finding a unique fit for each volunteer. The areas in which to volunteer include the following: leadership roles, church relations, logistics, prayer, administrative support, community relations, media support, and student relations.

As these volunteer opportunities span such a vast variety, there is an opportunity fit for everyone. The Connect Volunteers have created a network of hard-working individuals who are committed to enriching the lives of those who are less fortunate. To request more information about these year-round opportunities, visit the Samaritan’s Purse website and fill out this form.

Once the Christmas season approaches, the opportunities to volunteer only grow. National Collection Week is Nov. 14 through 21, 2022. Throughout this week, donations are centralized in the designated collection centers all around the United States. These donations include necessities, small toys, and hygiene products which will be packaged and sent to children in need. Once these items are collected, preparations for the Packing Parties begin.

Emma Hamilton, student at Kellogg Community College and past volunteer for Operation Christmas Child, says that she has enjoyed attending this Packing Party in the past.

“They were basically assembly lines,” Hamilton started. “You would start with a ‘wow’ item, and then you would get a personal care item. They would usually get one or two pieces of clothing and an accessory. Then they would get crafts or activities. They received a toy or two, and then just a personal note.”

These filled shoe boxes would then be sent over to children in need. Hamilton also commented on how amazing it was to see videos of these children opening the gifts which she had personally put together.

“It was kind of surreal to see the videos of the children opening the boxes that we had packed in our little church in Battle Creek,” said Hamilton. “To think that this was most of these children’s first ever Christmas gift, that was crazy.”

To find more information on this charity, visit the Operation Christmas Child section of the Samaritan’s Purse website. To volunteer, fill out this volunteer form at the Samaritan’s Purse website.