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Why we need $10 per shoebox

We are praying and planning to hand-deliver 370,000 gift-filled shoeboxes to children in seven nations this year. Yes, hand-deliver! Distributing shoeboxes is not as simple as sending a parcel across the country through Australia Post or another carrier.

In every receiving country, we have large teams of well-organised and well-trained volunteers who effectively hand-deliver the shoeboxes to children gathered in groups of anywhere between 10 and 200 in villages, slums and towns across these nations.

The cost of funding the training, logistics and sea freight to the receiving countries is enormous. In Australia and New Zealand, we also carry very substantial costs to pay for the rental of processing centres and a team of 14 paid Operation Christmas Child staff. Added to this, we have some inevitable fundraising, resource material and administration costs. Our administration costs for Samaritan’s Purse as a whole came to only 10% of our total expenditure in 2015.

We have taken strong measures to reduce our costs further by closing down our processing centre in South Australia and replacing it with a three-month only rental of temporary premises during processing season. We have also halved the size of our Perth-based processing centre to reduce costs. We have changed the supplier of our pre-printed shoeboxes and changed the design of our Operation Christmas Child pamphlets and posters, some of which are now available to schools and churches in digitised format to save on printing costs.

Operation Christmas Child does not own any buildings, nor does it have any cash reserves whatsoever. In fact, generally from the period April through to September every year, it has to borrow money to keep the project going until the donations that arrive along with the shoeboxes flow into our processing centres. Unfortunately, in the past we have been given large numbers of shoeboxes without the $10 contribution, which has forced us to appeal to donors to help us cover the costs of this program. We find ourselves in an unsustainable situation, and we are
desperate to see the $10 donation come in with every shoebox to enable us to run this project on a break-even basis.

Please consider donating to the work of Operation Christmas Child below.

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