Operation Christmas Child Through the Years

Operation Christmas Child (OCC), an arm of Samaritan’s Purse, has been a fixture at Robson Ranch for the last 11 years. The purpose of OCC is to fill shoe boxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and clothes for children across the world who ordinarily do not receive gifts or are victims of tragedies such as war or natural disasters.

In 2011, several women gathered together and collaborated in purchasing gifts and filling 70 boxes for OCC. After experiencing two years of this enjoyable activity, the women decided to extend OCC to their husbands and other members of the community. In 2015, the first communitywide “Packing Party” was held in the Cheyenne-Laredo Room. After filling more than 700 boxes it was obvious the event had outgrown this space. Starting in 2016 the event has been held in the Hermosa Ballroom. Hundreds of community members have participated in buying their own individual boxes and helping at the packing parties. Thousands of boxes have been filled, with the high being in 2021 when 3,047 boxes were sent to the regional collection location in Chandler. The event was even held in 2020 during COVID-19 with special steps taken to protect the participants—it became a two-day event with a limited number of volunteers during the morning and afternoon sessions.

To be successful OCC needs much support—both volunteer (filling their own boxes, organizing the event, and participating in the packing parties) and financial support. Not only are funds needed to buy the gifts, but a shipping cost of $10 per box is also required. Over the last 11 years, more than $100,000 has been raised. When the original leaders (Dave and Bev Douglas) moved in 2021, Rock Springs Church stepped in and provided the leadership for OCC-Robson Ranch. Last year, restricted by an uncertain economy, Robson Ranch boxed more than 1,600 boxes. With the success of last year, the committee heading OCC has set a goal of 2,000 boxes. They are looking for your support to make this another successful year for OCC.

How Can You Participate?

1. Fill your own boxes. They will be available in October. Watch the Blast to find out locations for pick-up and delivery.

2. Participate in the Packing Party on Nov. 14.

3. Contribute to Rock Springs Church with a donation designated for OCC.

4. Pray for the success of OCC-Robson Ranch.

Our local involvement in OCC is part of a massive nationwide effort resulting in more than 11 million children being blessed by a special gift.

We hope you will be able to participate this year. It is never too soon to start shopping for your boxes.