Christmas boxed off for disadvantaged children around the world

Who’d have thought a small shoebox could have such a big impact? For 25 years, international relief organisation Samaritan’s Purse has been encouraging British schools and offices to pack a shoebox full of goodies for third-world children. Here at Glendale Interiors, we were only too happy to chip in.

In 1991, the very first shoeboxes went to Romania as part of Operation Christmas Child. Twenty-five years later, the programme is still having an amazing impact on the lives of children who have never before received any kind of gift.

In Romania and around the Crimea, many children have been abandoned by their families and live in state-run orphanages and boarding schools, where diseases such as tuberculosis are rife. The look of joy on their faces when they receive their shoeboxes is priceless.

But how does a box get to its destination? Operation Christmas Child is a huge undertaking. Shoeboxes packed in schools and offices around the UK and Ireland are taken to drop-off points around the country. They’re then collected by an army of volunteers around the clock.

In local processing centres, more volunteers give up their time to check each box before they’re shipped to distribution partners all over the world. These partners will have worked locally to decide which children will receive the gifts, on the basis of need alone.

Since the first boxes reached Romania all those years ago, more than 100 million shoeboxes have been presented to overjoyed children in more than 130 countries. Each box also contains a copy of ‘The Greatest Journey’, a booklet enabling the children to read more about the life of Jesus.

Here at Glendale, we’re proud to have done our bit. We filled Christmas shoeboxes for children in third-world countries with school books, dictionaries, pens, maths sets, art materials, batteries, chocolates, and even toothbrushes. Samaritan’s Purse will notify us of which school they went to.


To find out more about Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child, go to