Christmas in July ‘Build a Shoebox’ Challenge underway

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, July 21, 2016

Residents of Middle Georgia have long been involved in sending hope and love to children around the world through the shoeboxes of Operation Christmas Child around Christmastime.  Just last year, residents filled 45,212 empty shoeboxes with small items like toys, school supplies and hygiene items to children living in difficult situations around the world.
But this year, Christmas is coming early. In July, in fact. The local Heart of GA Operation Christmas Child team is inviting the community to participate in a Build a Shoebox Online Christmas in July Challenge, July 17– 31. The goal is to pack 200 shoeboxes that will be sent to some of the hardest-to-reach countries in the world. The contents of the online boxes are limited to items that meet even the strictest customs requirements.
At, visitors select a child’s age and gender, shop through an online selection of culturally relevant gifts, “build” their shoebox, and finish by uploading a photo and writing a note of encouragement to the child who will receive it. After the shoeboxes are packed and sent by the Operation Christmas Child team, participants can discover where in the world their gifts will be delivered. It is a convenient yet meaningful way to join in a project that will bring hope to children in need.
The virtual-packing tool also offers participants the option to challenge friends to participate or the opportunity to share the gift of giving through a shoebox gift card.
To participate in the challenge, go, July 17 – July 31.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 135 million children in more than 150 countries and territories. In 2016, Operation Christmas Child hopes to deliver gifts to another 12 million children.
For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 478-250-1158 or  visit