Missions Corner: Operation Christmas Child


A Ministry of Samaritan’s Purse

It’s that time of year again! Time to prepare our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.  Millions of children around the world will experience Christmas joy when they receive gift-filled boxes and hear the Gospel through Christian literature.  But it doesn’t end there! The children have the opportunity to take part in The Greatest Journey, a 12-lesson discipleship and evangelism program offered in their own language.  Upon completion of the program, graduates receive their own copy of a New Testament.   What starts out as a simple gift–a shoe box containing toys, school supplies,and toiletries–is used by God to transform the hearts of millions of children and their families.

This will  be our church’s fourth year serving as the Relay Center for Northern Berkshire County.  That means people from around the county will be bringing their packed shoeboxes to our church during National Collection Week, November 18-25.  Over a thousand boxes come through our center.

You can participate in this ministry in several ways:

  • Pack a shoebox.  Decorative “GO” (Gospel Opportunity) boxes are available at the church.
  • Purchase individual items that can go in a box (rather than packing an entire box yourself) (for both of these options, brochures are available with gift suggestions and items not to include)
  • Serve as a volunteer at our Relay Center during Collection week. Opportunities for service include:
  • Putting together gift boxes from individual donated items
  • Greeting those who come through our doors with their donated boxes
  • Baking cookies to offer our guests
  • Carrying packed shoeboxes from the cars into the church (young people encouraged to apply!)
  • Packing the shoeboxes into larger boxes for transport to the Northampton Collection Center
  • Loading the larger boxes onto the transport truck
  • Record keeping of the number of boxes brought in each day, and from whom


To sign up and to get more information, please speak to Charleen Bridgman, Relay Center Coordinator at 499-3040, or email to secretary@gracecongregational.net



1. Get a decorated box at the church., or use an empty standard size shoe box, or a small plastic container. Pray for the child who will receive your gift.

2. Decide whether your gift will be for a boy or girl, and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.

3.  Fill with gifts. Gift suggestions:  school supplies, toys, hygiene items, other items such as hard candy, T-shirts, socks, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.

4.  Include a personal note to the child and a photo of yourself, if desired.

Do not include:  Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans

5.  Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box to help cover shipping and other project costs.  You can give online at samaritanspurse.org/occ and find out later where your shoebox went!

Last year Operation Christmas Child reached the 100 millionth child with the Good News of God’s love since the start of this ministry in 1993.

Categories Blog/Missions

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Grace Church Congregational

1055 Williams Street

Pittsfield, MA 01201