Operation Christmas Child is a great project which demonstrates God’s love to children in 130 different countries! Since 1993, they have shipped over 95 million shoeboxes to children all over the world! In 2011 alone, they shipped over 8.6 million boxes. This year, our church’s goal is 365 boxes. To help reach that goal, the church hosted a shoebox packing party. Our family got very involved this year, packing 12 shoeboxes at a little home packing party of our own. We then packed another two at the church’s party. It’s a fun way for the kids to get involved in giving and to connect them to other children all over the world. Here’s how it works:
First, people choose which age group and gender they are packing for. You choose an Operation Christmas Child label and target that shoebox for that child. We packed for both boys and girls, ages 2-4 and ages 5-9.
Next, volunteers fill shoeboxes of all shapes and sizes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and other miscellaneous items. Washcloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, t-shirts, stuffed animals, cars, play jewelry, really just about anything that you can imagine stuff these boxes to the brim. We even had some ladies at our church spend time several weeks ago knitting items to put into these boxes. Make sure that you include a personal note or photo. This is important in making that connection with the children who receive these gifts. The girls made cards to put into our boxes and we made sure to include our names and address in case any of these children want to write back to us.
Even though it’s not necessary, you can (and lots of people do) decorate your shoebox. We wrapped ours in Christmas wrapping paper. This, I think, really helps us and the kids get into the spirit of giving during this season.
Finally, you need to sponsor your box. Operation Christmas Child asks for $7 for each box to cover project costs. Before you say that this seems like a lot to ship a shoebox, think about how heavy these things can get. Seven dollars doesn’t quite do it justice. One really neat opportunity is that, by going online and placing a Follow Your Box donation to Operation Christmas Child, you can get a label with a bar code that allows you to track your box to the destination country. For us, this means that we can show our kids where, in the world, their boxes are going.
Our church is going to bring these shoeboxes to a local collection point and, from there, these shoeboxes will be shipped out to larger collection points and, ultimately, to the various destination countries. We would love for you to join us in showing our love to millions of other children around the world. National Collection week is November 12-19. If you can’t pack a box and get it to the right place this week, consider packing a virtual box!
This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.
BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.