Volunteers aim to pack more than 17,521 Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts this year in the Walla Walla area, according to a release from Donna Clayton with Samaritan’s Purse. 

Alina Aisina is touring the area to talk about how the shoebox gift she received while growing up in Central Asia changed her life. 

Inside the beautifully wrapped box she found a pair of pink princess shoes that she wore everywhere. 

“The shoebox reminded her she was not alone and filled her with hope while she grew up without a father,” Donna said.

For many years, Walla Walla area residents have been a part of Operation Christmas Child, a global project that shares the true meaning of Christmas with millions of boys and girls worldwide. 

Filled with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items each shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love, Donna said. 

For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ

Participants can also donate $9 per shoebox gift online through “Follow Your Box” and receive a tracking label to discover its destination. The convenience of online shopping is at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline to select gifts matched to a child’s specific age and gender, then finish packing the virtual shoebox by adding a photo and personal note of encouragement. 

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization headed by Franklin Graham. 

Operation Christmas Child’s mission is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world and share the good news of Jesus Christ. 

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 168 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories. 


Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313. 

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,