News Release

Christmas Love From Above happens again with Operation Christmas Drop 2023 

Operation Christmas Drop 2023
Operation Christmas Drop 2023
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At Christmas time in 1952, a B-29 Superfortress aircrew were flying over the small island of Kapingamarangi.  They could see some of the islanders waving at them.  In the spirit of the season, they dropped a bundle of rations and other items found on the plane, attached them to a parachute, and dropped it to the islanders below.  This simple, but loving gesture, began the tradition of what is now called ‘Operation Christmas Drop’ (OCD).  This year marks the 72nd year of this humanitarian airlift operation.  From this one small island or atoll, OCD has now grown to over 50 islands throughout the Pacific.  It has become a collaborative effort between air forces from the United States to Japan, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Australia, and the Philippines.  

This year 210 Christmas boxes were dropped with a total of 84,000 lbs of supplies, which include donated food, clothing, and other useful items, for 58 islands!  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated fishing nets, children’s books, first aid kits, and tools. The island of Kosrae was added this year along with 10 more boxes than in the past, making this the largest Operation Christmas Drop ever! Kosrae became the 58th island to receive a Christmas drop.  They have not had a box dropped there for almost 50 years!  The people were so excited to see the plane.  They ran down the dock and some even jumped into the water as the parachutes floated down gently into the water.   

A lot of families, church groups, military personnel, and individuals gathered on December 1st and 2nd to add supplies to the boxes.  Many brought paints, crayons, markers, and stickers to decorate the boxes for the drop.  There was dancing and singing as everyone enjoyed the spirit of giving at this Christmas time.  As pictures and videos of the drops were posted on social media, many people watched to see if they could see where their box was dropped!  These boxes were not only filled with donations but decorated with all kinds of artwork as a way of wishing the recipients a wonderful Christmas.  Every box represented a gift of someone’s time, money, and heart.  Truly, these gifts of love were dropped from above and received with love and gratitude. 

President Thomas S. Monson said in a Christmas devotional 2012 : “My brothers and sisters, true love is a reflection of the Savior’s love. In December of each year we call it the Christmas spirit. You can hear it. You can see it. You can feel it..” 

President David O. McKay said: “True happiness comes only by making others happy. … The [spirit of] Christmas … makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service. It is the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” 

President Monson continued by saying: “Let us make Christmas real. It isn’t just tinsel and ribbon, unless we have made it so in our lives. Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values. It is peace because we have found peace in the Savior’s teachings. It is the time we realize most deeply that the more love is expended, the more there is of it for others.” 

     There’s Christmas in the home and church, 

     There’s Christmas in the mart; 

     But you’ll not know what Christmas is 

     Unless it’s in your heart. 


     The bells may call across the snow, 

     And carols search the air, 

     But oh, the heart will miss the thrill 

(“Christmas in the Heart,” as quoted in The Instructor, Dec. 1933, 547.) 

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