How shoe boxes became a passion at fccem

Years and years and years ago, we learned about a ministry of the international relief agency Samaritan's Purse called "Operation Christmas Child." (OCC) Its premise was simple: Donors pack age- and gender-appropriate toys, gifts, and other items into shoe boxes that are then shipped and delivered to children in developing nations around the world. We opted into the ministry, and for years found great satisfaction in knowing that the simple items we packaged in the boxes brought joy and a word about the Gospel to children we'd never meet, but would know we'd blessed. 

In 2018, FCCEM morphed from a congregation of shoe box donors to a congregation of donors AND recipients! For the first time we served as an official OCC drop-off center for the Quad Cities, which meant that we welcomed, noted, and packaged in large cartons the boxes other persons, groups, and churches brought as their OCC gifts. By the end of the eight day national collection week, we received more than 1,000 shoe boxes. Praise God!

In 2019, our second year as a drop-off center produced nearly 1,600 boxes at our location, smashing our first year's success.

In 2020, the COVID pandemic limited our results, but didn't reduce our praise to God for the more than 1,200 boxes we processed at the FCCEM drop-off location.

We will serve as a drop-off center again in 2021, and we're looking forward to more great experiences. 

Scroll down for some images of our OCC ministry in action!

Operation Christmas Child 2021: FCCEM again a drop-off location!

We've participated in Operation Christmas Child, the Christian outreach to children in developing nations, for many years. Three years ago we accepted an invitation to serve as a drop-off location in the Quad Cities. In that new role, we've welcomed, packed into cartons, and moved to the Quad Cities' central drop-off location thousands of shoeboxes filled with age- and gender appropriate gifts donated by individuals, families, churches, and other organizations. In 2021, we will once again serve as a drop-location, and invite you to bring your box(es) to us for processing.

Packing a shoe box is easy and fun! For ALL the information you need, CLICK HERE.

In brief (details at the link above):

  • Find a shoe box
  • Get a label to identify the age and gender of the child for whom you packed the box
  • Fill the box with age- and gender appropriate items
  • Donate online or by mail the suggested $9 for shipping and handling for each box you pack
  • Pray for your box
  • Deliver your box to FCCEM or one of the other OCC drop-locations in the Quad Cities
  • We will collect your box(es) AT YOUR VEHICLE, unless you request otherwise. All necessary administrative tasks can be handled there as well, meaning we will come to you, receive your donation, pray for your boxes, and send you on your way as quickly as possible.

Our Drop-off location's hours this year:

  • Monday, November 15: 10:00-Noon; 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday-Saturday, November 16-20: 10:00-Noon
  • Sunday, November 21: 2:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Monday, November 22: 10:00-Noon

Our Location

First Christian Church of East Moline

3501  7th St.

East Moline, IL     61244

phone: 309.755.6552

Drop-off location AND FCCEM set shoe box records!

We praise God that in the 2019 version of Operation Christmas Child's national shoe box collection week, we welcomed 1,598 boxes to our drop-off location, besting last year's inaugural result (1,059) by 51%! While our own church's donation of boxes produced a record 140 boxes, beating by 25% last year's record-setting result of 105 boxes.

  • If you donated items, thank you!
  • If you served on our drop-off location team, thank you!
  • If you visited our drop-off location to deliver your own boxes or those of your group, business, or church, thank you!

We have every intention of continuing our service as an OCC drop-off location next year. See you then!

a magnificent operation christmas child week 2019 culminates with our own packing party

The number of shoe boxes we've received over the first four days of our second year as an OCC drop-off location (1,100) is already greater than the number we received ALL of last year (1,059) We can't wait to see what God has in store for the remaining four days of collection week 2019. One thing we know God has in store is our own box packing party tomorrow night (November 23) As the gallery of images below shows, we have hundreds and hundreds of items to include in the boxes we'll create. 

The night will begin with a casual potluck at 5:00 p.m. A casual potluck means don't work too hard to come up with the food you bring: buy a pizza or some packaged snacks, for example. After we eat, we'll create boxes from the items God has provided to us through surprising sources.  The more who help us, the fast we'll create. Join us!

WHAT: The FCCEM OCC packing party

WHEN: Saturday, November 23, 5:00 p.m.

WHY: To create the shoe boxes we'll donate to the 2019 version of Operation Christmas Child

HOW: Casual potluck (5:00 p.m.) followed by box packing

Here are some pics of what awaits our box packers: