Have you started your holiday planning yet? If not, this month is a great time to start thinking about it and take actions so you don’t find yourself suddenly caught in the last-minute holiday shopping rush.
Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping but I do not enjoy the pressure and stress you feel when shopping in crowded stores. I realized this more and more the older I get. Hah!
Anyways, as we start making a list of things to buy and people to give it to, let us not forget those that are less fortunate than us. Most especially children in other parts of the world who are affected by war, poverty, famine, disease & natural disasters.
Christmas season is a great opportunity to exercise sharing and giving.
In the past few years, we got into the habit of reminding our kids that we need to give to other children first who may not have much or may not receive anything for Christmas at all. Before we even ask them what they want for Christmas. Of course their response was always “ok” but do they really understand what we’re trying to ask them to do? Probably not.
That is why when I first read about Operation Christmas Child 3 years ago from one of the homeschooling blogs that I follow. I thought this would be a great opportunity for our kids to take a part of. Since then, we have been packing shoeboxes! If you are curious, go ahead and visit Homeschool Creations and see what Jolanthe and her family do to take a part in this great project.
Have you ever heard of Operation Christmas Child?
If not go visit Samaritan’s Purse and learn more about Operation Christmas Child and how to become a part in helping make Christmas memorable for the less fortunate children around the world.
So, what is Operation Christmas Child?
Operation Christmas Child is a project hosted by Samaritans purse, an international relief organization. Their mission is to give children around the world who are affected by war, poverty, famine, disease or natural disaster a sense of hope and deliver the good news of Jesus Christ. By giving these children a shoebox filled with gifts, things like toys, school supplies, books, clothing, etc.
Why pack shoeboxes?
Here is why, taken directly from their brochures:
When you pack shoeboxes, Operation Christmas Child works with churches around the world to deliver them to children living in war, poverty, and disaster. Each box is a powerful expression of hope, joy and love — but that’s only the beginning.
Aside from that, packing a shoebox is a real great opportunity for our children to think about other kids at Christmas time besides themselves. That’s why I love the idea!
How do you pack a shoebox?
If you want more information on how to pack a shoebox, go visit Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.
But basically this is what you’ll need and what to keep in mind:
• An average size shoebox (cardboard or plastic); or you can request for boxes from their site for a cost of a donation to cover shipping and handling if you are planning to host a packing party; or keep an eye out for volunteers around your town who may have a table set up in a store or mall.
• Next, fill it up with goodies. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. Usually a trip to Dollar store or Dollarama with a budget of $10-15 is enough to fill up the box. Of course there are more than one way to fill up the shoeboxes. If you are a creative, diy type of person, then use that to your advantage!
•They do have some guidelines of what is allowed to be packed and what is not so make sure you are aware of those.
•You are allowed to pack anything dry, non-perishable, & small enough items that can fit in the box. Items such as school supplies, clothing, toys, books, personal hygiene stuff like toothbrush, comb, bar of soap etc. & a personal note or photo if you wish to.
•You are not allowed to pack food, things that can break, leak or freeze, used items, a deck of cards, war related toys or things that might scare or harm a child.
•Also keep in mind the gender and age of kids you are packing for. They have a suggested age group for girls and boys. It’s 2-4, 5-9, & 10-14.
Take a look at our haul from a trip to dollarama. We decided to pack 3 boxes with a budget of about $10-15 and picked the 5-9 age group, 1 girl and 2 boys to match our children. All these stuff came to about $43.00.
- Once you finished packing your shoebox, affix the proper tag for the age group and gender of the child you wish to give your box to. If you acquired a box from the organization itself, it should come with the tags that you can use for your box. If not, you can go visit their website and print a label. They even have the option now of tracking your label so you can find out where your box is going to if you wish to find out.
- Next, include a donation of $7 for each box to cover shipping and handling. You can include a check or cash placed inside the box on top of your items. However they much prefer an online donation if you can do that.
- Last but not the least, drop off your completed box on drop-off locations during the national collection week which is on the 3rd week of November. To find where you can drop off your box, check Samaritan’s Purse for location information.
Would you pack a shoebox to put a smile on the face of a less fortunate child this Christmas?
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