Operation Christmas Child Added to List of BSA’s Official Community Organizations
Operation Christmas Child (OCC)— the world’s largest charitable Christmas project of its kind—has been designated as an official community organization by the BSA.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, who is the son of evangelist Billy Graham. Individuals, groups, and families all over the U.S. take empty shoeboxes and fill them with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, candy, and other items a child may like. OCC collects the packed shoebox gifts every year the week before Thanksgiving at more than 3,300 drop-off locations around the U.S. This year, the National Collection Week will take place Nov. 12–19, and OCC hopes to collect 8.5 million gifts.
Last year, Operation Christmas Child collected over 8 million shoebox gifts, and it has collected approximately 77 million since 1993. These gifts have been distributed to children who are suffering from poverty, war, disease, natural disaster, terrorism, and famine. For most of these children, this is the first gift they have ever received.
Being designated as an official community organization by the BSA indicates a recognition of mutual cooperation and support between Operation Christmas Child and the BSA. Operation Christmas Child is among a limited number of organizations that have received endorsement from the BSA National Council, which ensures Cub Scout and Boy Scout leaders that participation in OCC can be counted as one of their service projects. Local Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops have been working with Operation Christmas Child since its inception, so we are encouraging BSA councils and districts to promote this organization as a resource when helping units find worthwhile service projects.
How to Pack a Shoe Box Gift
Letter from Franklin Graham, President, Samaritan’s Purse