Operation Christmas Child

2019 is our church’s 23rd year of participating in Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, which facilitates getting shoebox gifts, given along with the Gospel message, to children in hurting situations around the world.  Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has delivered gift filled shoeboxes to children in over 150 different countries, going to approximately 100 countries each year.  These children living in war torn areas, in poverty, surviving natural disasters, etc. often are receiving a gift for the first time in their lives.  Through the gifts, prayers, service and support of all involved with Operation Christmas Child, these young lives and those around them are being transformed by the Good News of Jesus Christ.


  • Pray. Prayer cards are available at church for specific ideas.
  • Pack one or more shoeboxes at home.  This is a great thing to do as a family with your children or grandchildren.
  • Join us in our OCC Headquarters (Upper Level, NW Room) for scheduled Work Nights to help plan, collect items, wrap boxes, craft items, pack boxes, and more.
  • Sponsor the shipping of shoeboxes ($9 each) and also The Greatest Journey ($6 each), which is a follow-up discipleship program offered to the children.
  • Pick up OCC brochures and other information at church to explore available resources and other opportunities to help with Operation Christmas Child.
  • Share brochures and information with your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and community groups.


Further tools and information for Operation Christmas Child are available online at samaritanspurse.org.

Locally you may call or text Helene Atkinson at 217.899.5210 or at [email protected] with questions, ideas, or for further information.


  1. Shoebox: Get a shoebox for a boy or girl (affix boy/girl label). Use an empty cardboard or plastic shoebox (average size).  If you wish to wrap the box, the box and lid should be wrapped separately.  Preprinted shoeboxes are available at church.
  2. Include a “Wow” Toy: Select a quality “wow” toy such as a doll, soccer ball with pump, or stuffed animal.
  3. Fill with Gifts: Add other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.
  4. Pray: Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.
  5. Include $9 Donation: A donation of $9 per box is needed to transport your gift and deliver it into the hands of a child in need.  Enclose your check or cash inside the lid of your box or give online at samaritanspurse.org to Follow Your Box and you will receive information about the destination of your shoebox.
  6. Bring to Petersburg United Methodist Church by November 19, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.


Start with a special toy that a child will cherish, like a doll, a deflated soccer ball with a pump, or a plush stuffed animal.  Then fill the box completely, adding items like cars, musical instruments, puzzles, jump ropes, balls, etc.

School Supplies: pencils, pens, crayons, notebooks, coloring books, etc.

Non-Liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, washcloths, combs, other hair items, etc.

Personal Note and photo of you and your family/group.  If you include your name and address, the child may be able to write to you.

DO NOT INCLUDE used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures, seeds, chocolate or food, liquids or lotions, medications, or vitamins, breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers, aerosol cans, etc.


Our church serves as a site for individuals and other churches and organizations to drop off their shoeboxes during these hours.  Please share this information along with a brochure with others so they can join in with this project

Filled and Empty (for group packing) shoeboxes are being collected, as well as toys, stuffed animals, toothbrushes, soap and washcloths, and any other appropriate shoebox gifts.

Used t-shirts, discs (cd’s & dvd’s), crayons, plastic Easter eggs, plastic spoons, beads, crayons, empty pill bottles, fishing and sewing supplies (including fabric) are collected year round to upcycle into fun usable gifts.

 Worship Schedule

9:30 am Summer Worship until September 1st


Sunday School 

Adult Sunday School 8:30 am in Wesley Hall

Children's Sunday School in Gingerbread Room after children's message and during worship service. 

Upcoming Events

 August 5th-9th  6:00-8:00 pm

Co-op Vacation Bible School held at St. Paul’s Church.  For ages pre-school through sixth grade. The Co-op churches are St. Paul’s, Central Presbyterian and Petersburg United Methodist.  Children from all denominations are welcome to attend.

Aug. 11th  9:30 am

Mission Camp Sunday. During the worship service youth and leaders from both the jr. high camp and high school camp will have an opportunity to share their experiences.  Following the service Second Sunday breakfast will be held.  






Contact Us

 221 W. Jackson St.                           Petersburg, IL 62675

[email protected]