Operation Christmas Child

Shoebox season is here, which means we once again have the privilege to help share the Good News of Jesus Christ with millions of boys and girls around the world!

Hello Church Family, I am Marlene Cavaiola, Sterling United Methodist Church’s Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child coordinator for 2022. Whether they are delivered to unreached people or groups, hard-to-reach nations, or remote Pacific islands, gift-filled shoeboxes are bringing great joy and the Good News of Jesus Christ to children who may have never heard it before! More important than the items inside the shoebox, the gifts are an opportunity to share God’s love—and the Good News of Jesus Christ—with children in need. Some are delivered to areas within the United States. I would like to add that many Ukraine children received their boxes even when they were moved for safety out of their country. Such a wonderful moment to bring joy during war time. If  you have a question or would like to assist me, please send me an email at . Last year our church surpassed my expectations of 255 boxes.  With the current economy, my goal is to provide at least 100 boxes for children from our church. Some of the following information of the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child has been copied from their website.

The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children around the world. Through this project, Samaritan’s Purse partners with the local church worldwide to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and make disciples of all nations. The following verses are foundation to this vision:

• “Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14, ESV).

• “Make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19).

• “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14). In this church-to-church ministry model, churches who pack shoebox gifts partner with local churches around the world as they share God’s love with children in need and provide follow-up discipleship through The Greatest Journey.

• “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’” (Rev. 7:9-10)

At SUMC, the following  will be in place for your convenience. If you would like to participate in preparing a Christmas box, pray and decide if you want to fill a box as an individual, with family or a group (i.e., youth, fellowship group or a Bible Study).


  • Preprinted shoe boxes will be available in the church Narthex under the table in front of the sanctuary starting September 25, 2022 with labels and information.
  • Completed boxes are to be returned by October 30 so we can prepare for the November drop off.
  • An ‘Item Drop Off Box’ for just new donated items will be available in the collection area if you don’t want to do an entire box. We will use the items to pack a box.
  • Coloring preprinted pages will be available for young and old to color so we can place in the boxes.
  • Monetary donation to help with the processing of boxes to other countries has increased to $10 per box. The increase pays for the Gospel Booklet in the child’s language, collection/transportation costs and training local churches in the country to distribute and minister to the children. If you would like to contribute just to that, it would be appreciated. For more information or to give online go to the website Operation Christmas Child | Shoebox Outreach of Samaritan’s Purse (samaritanspurse.org) .  You can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse OCC or include cash in the available envelopes or give it to the office and we will include it with the others.



What to pack in the boxes:  Official Shoebox Gift Suggestions (samaritanspurse.org)



DO NOT PACK the following:

  • Candy
  • Toothpaste
  • Gum
  • Used or damaged items
  • Scary or war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures
  • Chocolate or food
  • Seeds
  • Fruit rolls or other fruit snacks
  • Drink mixes (powdered or liquid)
  • Liquids or lotions
  • Medications or vitamins
  • Breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers
  • Aerosol cans

Just a note:  Samaritan’s Purse is a NON Denominational outreach that supports children not politics. I give from my heart to bring some comfort to children and literature is provided in their language to show them the love of Jesus Christ.

Bless you All for the opportunity to be the church coordinator,

Marlene Cavaiola