Has anybody else started their Christmas shopping yet? I am getting EXCITED!! My favorite part? Stockings! I love finding fun little treasures and treats and surprising my family. 🙂
Have you heard of Samaritan’s Purse and their outreach, Operation Christmas Child? They take shoebox gifts, filled by people like you and me, to children all over the world, in over 130 countries. Since they began twenty years ago, they have handed out over 94 million shoeboxes!
Guess what? Filling shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child can be just like filling stockings ~ lots of goodies, fun little treasures and surprises. And the best part: you are sharing God’s love with kiddos all over the world and giving them gifts they would otherwise never receive. Priceless.
Here’s a link to Samaritan’s Purse OCC website with instructions on how to pack a shoebox.
If your church participates in Operation Christmas Child, get involved and grab a shoebox. Fill two, or twelve, if you can afford it. If your church does not participate, pray about starting it.
Don’t attend church? No problem! Find a place locally that collects shoeboxes for OCC here. Shoebox collection week is November 18-25.
What should you put in the shoebox? Get creative! School and art supplies (back to school sales are perfect!), small cars and toys (NO war/military/guns please – some of the recipients have seen more than their share of war and violence), balls, jump ropes, gum, mints, candy (NO chocolate, it might melt!), stuffed animals, dolls, toothbrushes and paste, combs, soap, hair clips, socks, hats, mittens… You get the idea. NO liquids, don’t want a spill! You can include handcrafted items, go to the dollar store, bargain hunt. It doesn’t have to be a budget buster. 🙂
It is sooo much fun, especially if you bring your children, or grandchildren, shopping. Our kiddos loved helping to choose items for the shoeboxes. It is a great way to focus on giving rather than receiving. We all need to learn that the joy of giving is far greater!
You may include a photo and a letter with your address, if you wish. We have never done this but may give it a try this year. Perhaps we will have another international pen pal! 🙂
There is a suggested donation of $7 per box to help with shipping costs. If you go online to pay this, there is also a way for you to track your box(es) and find out to which country they are shipped, pretty amazing! One year our boxes were sent to the Philippines, and last year they ended up in Peru.
Follow OCC on Facebook and maybe you will even catch a photo or story shared of shoeboxes being handed out in the country where your shoebox(es) was/were sent!
Prayerfully consider blessing a child with a shoebox of gifts this year. You will not regret it. Merry Christmas!