Monday, November 15, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

I first heard of Operation Christmas Child last year. Robert's good friend James Tioco invited us to a dinner organized by Samaritan's Purse in Manila.







That evening opened my eyes to a fascinating project that gave people an opportunity to take a shoe box, fill it with gifts and toys, and send it to Samaritan's Purse for distribution to children who might never experience receiving a Christmas gift that year. I am grateful that I became aware of this and resolved that we will send a shoe box the following Christmas season.









A couple of days ago, Robert and I decided to pack a shoe box for a little girl between the ages 5 to 9 years old -- just in time for Christmas this year. I personally feel strongly connected to this specific age group and gender because most of the children I have closely bonded with recently fall under this demographic.



We asked the help of our little friends Maliya and Mateo on what to pick for our little girl. They were great and definitely knew more than we did!


Friends, I really encourage you to pray about packing a shoe box. It does not cost a lot to put fun items in it and make someone's Christmas brighter and happier.

Instructions are found on the website but I will also share on this blog on how to pack a shoe box.

1) SHOE BOX
Use an empty, standard-size shoe box or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required.

2) BOY or GIRL?
Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child's age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Go online and print out the appropriate boy/girl label. Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.

3) FILL WITH GIFTS
This is the fun part. Go to your favorite store. Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child. Great gift ideas include small cars, balls, pens, pencils, toothbrush, toothpaste, t-shirts, and socks. You have so many options!

Please do not include: used or damaged items, war-related items, chocolate, food, liquids, lotions, medications or any breakable items.

4) INCLUDE YOUR DONATION
Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online, or you can write a check to Samaritan's Purse (note "OCC" on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.

5) DROP OFF
Place a rubber band around each shoe box and lid and drop off at the Collection Center this week. Drop-off starts TODAY.

For locations, please call 1-800-353-5949 or visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.

You can also send your shoe box gift to:
Samaritan's Purse/Operation Christmas Child
801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607


This project is so close to my heart because a lot of Filipino children benefit from these boxes.







If you are looking for a meaningful activity that emphasizes sharing and generosity this Christmas, I hope that you consider packing a shoe box for a child. You can do this with your son/daughter, nephews/nieces or students; or if you belong to a Bible study group, this is something you can do together! Christmas just becomes more significant when we all decide to prefer to give than to receive.

2 comments :

diane elizabeth g said...

what a beautiful and wonderful idea!!! i love it =) definitely something i would love to do, thanks for the info sam!

and in the near future i would love for my son to do this as well, when he's old enough, he can pick the items for the box and everything, and give it to a boy of his age group =P

Samantha said...

Yay! So glad you want to do it too! I think it becomes extra special when children are involved in picking out the gifts :-)