Operation Christmas Child, a ministy of Samaritan's Purse, distributes shoebox gifts filled with hygiene items, school supplies, toys, clothing, etc., to children ages 2-14. Pastors around the world host shoebox distributions in places where people may not know Christ and invite them to follow Him. Other churches use the boxes as resources for outreach in orphanages and other at-risk areas. In many places, they also offer The Greatest Gift, a Gospel story booklet Samaritan’s Purse developed for shoebox recipients.
GBC began packing shoeboxes for OCC in the late 90's. What started out as a Youth Group project to pack a handful of boxes has now grown into a ministry that engages the entire congregation. Shoebox items are donated by the members of GBC throughout the year, then the Sunday School hosts the annual OCC Packing Party on the first Sunday of November. Items are laid out by category, and every able bodied person, from toddlers to adults, gather together to thoughtfully pack each shoebox. It's a fun-filled hour of fellowship that also provides a wonderful outreach opportunity by allowing every church member to spread the Good News of Jesus to children throughout the world.