Operation Christmas Child

An Interactive Platform Increases Donations Worldwide


Christmas is the season of giving, a time when the affirmations of our own good fortune ignites a call to charity. For many, the sight of the red and green Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoebox invokes nostalgia, and for good reason. For over 25 years the iconic service curated by Samaritan’s Purse has been fulfilling Christmas wishes across the globe. In 2014 SOUTH was tasked with bringing the service into the digital age. This opportunity to facilitate such noble work carried tremendous weight and responsibility. Through a coordinated effort we delivered not only an engaging user interface but a powerful order management system that has improved the process and increased contributions.


Operation Christmas Child


  • Application UI Design
  • Custom Web Application
  • Digital Publishing



02Bringing Hope Home for Christmas

The team at SOUTH has been working with Samaritan’s Purse for over 10 years. We partnered with OCC to create Build-A-Box — a platform capable of processing millions of shoebox orders worldwide. This interactive application allows users to drag and drop items into their shoebox, attach personal messages, and check out using a secure payment gateway.

Each year, thousands of volunteers and employees deliver millions of Christmas shoeboxes to children in need. We joined in to help Samaritan’s Purse improve user experience, reduce donor drop-off volume and automate their supply chain. This program has inspired leaders, started churches and delivered over 100 million smiles to hurting children. Pretty amazing what a little shoebox can do.

03Every Pixel Has a Purpose

Seeing a child open a Christmas gift is a marvelous experience, and we wanted to capture this excitement in our design for the OCC platform. Toys and stuffed animals decorate the interface while an Etch-a-Sketch frames the user walkthrough. Simple action steps allow donors of all ages to understand this interactive application.

Engagement has moved beyond sharing and commenting on a single platform. Your audience desires to interact using numerous mediums throughout the year. The Build-A-Box platform offers supporters a relevant way to give and share during the Christmas season. Upon checkout, donors can socially challenge other friends to build their own box — this option has improved participation in all three continents.

04Let’s Take a Look Under the Hood

Innovative frontend design is the fun part. When you’re distributing 10 million shoeboxes across the globe, logistics becomes your real concern. We built a custom system that automates each step of the fulfillment process, from donation to delivery.

Upon payment, the user receives a confirmation email containing specific order details, a shipping label, and a link to their personal tracking page. This page allows supporters to track a dynamic shipping path as their order is delivered.

Automated email updates keep donors informed on the status of their package. When an individual has multiple orders, the system intelligently combines all updates into one message so the organization doesn’t become a nuisance to the customer.

Supply chain managers receive a robust order form containing recipient age, gender, and shoebox contents. Custom barcodes allow employees to begin, pause, or complete order fulfillment. Employees can bulk process orders or use hand-held scanners to update package statuses before shipping. Each transaction feature is visible in our fully custom, responsive admin panel.

The results thus far have been incredible: more shoeboxes, more donors, improved constituent communication, fewer inbound emails, more accurate deliveries and one amazing platform.

05Drag, Drop and Deliver Hope

Looks can be deceiving. This playful application is packed with intelligent real-time calculations. Based on recipient age and gender, the donor receives with a unique list of gift options. As the user drags (or removes) an item into the box, the system considers remaining parcel dimensions while updating potential gift options. This step allows for accurate bulk processing and order fulfillment. Experience it for yourself.

Let’s build something great together. Get started.

Fields marked with an * are required