Nov 01, 2022

College of the Ozarks hosts annual Operation Christmas Child donation drive, Nov. 14-21

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks will continue the annual tradition of packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child by hosting drop-off’s for the community and on-campus shoebox packing events from Nov. 14–21.

The Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child collects shoeboxes — filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items — and delivers them to children in need around the world to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.

“Now more than ever, children around the world need to know that God loves them and there is hope,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “A simple shoebox gift opens the door to share about the true hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.” 

The College of the Ozarks Christian Ministries Department hosts the Operation Christmas Child events. Lori Simmons serves as community service coordinator at the College.

“Having the opportunity to share the gospel in this way is a gift,” Simmons said. “Each year I am amazed by the student volunteers who share how they grew up packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and want to continue to participate for the rest of their lives. Many of our students make the decision to volunteer after hearing shoebox recipients tell stories of how God used this gift to bring them to Jesus and change the trajectory of their lives forever.”

For many of these children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first present they have ever received.

Dr. Justin Carswell, vice president of Christian ministries and dean of chapel, had the opportunity to visit Grenada in 2019 and participated in handing out a total of about 800 boxes to four different churches. The children were excited, overjoyed, and were able to forget their struggles for a moment.

“I loved seeing the joy and excitement in the children’s faces as they received the shoebox,” Carswell said. “It was a big moment for them, and you could tell they were excited to receive a gift. I also saw the passion and commitment of these volunteers to make sure every child in each participating church received a box and heard the gospel preached. It was amazing to witness the power of the gospel in a simple gift of a shoebox.”

Carswell is pleased to continue with this tradition of service at College of the Ozarks.

“The partnership between the College and Operation Christmas Child provides our students an opportunity to share the gospel of Christ with children all over the world,” Carswell said. “The act of packing a shoe box, praying for the recipient, and being part of the collection process demonstrates to them how their dedicated purposeful actions make a difference.”

With the community’s help, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoeboxes to reach another 11 million children in 2022.

NOV. 14 – 21: Drop-off Sites Open for Operation Christmas Child

The Point Lookout drop-off location is in the Christian Ministries Building on the College of the Ozarks campus. Signs will be posted to direct participants to the drop-off.

The Operation Christmas Child drop-off locations will be accepting shoeboxes on the following dates:

  • Monday, Nov. 14, 3-6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15, 8-11 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16, 8-11 a.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 17, 3-6 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 18, 8-11 a.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 19, 10-1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 20, 1-4 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 21, 8-11 a.m.

Anyone who would like to contribute to Operation Christmas Child without leaving home can build a shoebox online at

Members of the media may visit for downloadable resources.

About Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, seeks to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories. This year, Operation Christmas Child will collect its 200-millionth shoebox!