Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Operation Christmas Child: Creating Shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse

Every year my daughter and I look forward to filling shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child project for Samaritan's Purse.  The project is simple, you grab a shoebox and fill it with all kinds of little gifts and it is mailed to a child in need who may not have a gift to open this Christmas.  Millions of boxes have been sent to more than 130 countries and when you hear the stories of children saving their little shoeboxes because even the box is special you understand the impact of the smallest gestures.   

We started making shoeboxes when my daughter was a baby.  We'll do a boy and a girl one that corresponds with whatever age my daughter is at the time.  It's fun to shop with her and let her pick out all the items that will go in the boxes. 

It doesn't have to be expensive!  There are lots of great things to be found at the dollar store.  I also love to shop the school supplies after school has started and everything is deeply discounted.  I found pencil sharpeners for a quarter this year.  It's usually a good way to buy markers, colored pencils and other art supplies cheaply.  Anytime I'm at the drugstore or craft store I keep an eye out for those random clearance items so I can stock up and save them for our shoeboxes.  The boxes are small and we like to cram them as full as we can with many different things!

This year we added toothbrushes & toothpaste, soap, magic washcloths, small stuffed animals, card games, Marvel figures, a bead craft, coloring books, colored pencils, pencil sharpeners, toy erases, stickers, silly bands, peanut butter crackers and ring pops.  My daughter packed the boxes herself and included a handwritten note, a picture of herself and a drawing she made.   

I love this hands on way my daughter gets to participate and the opportunity to tangibly show and talk about how children live in other countries.  We are thankful for Samaritan's Purse for making such a simple way for us to help bless children in need!


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