Friday, November 21, 2014

Week 9: Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest project of its kind.  They ship gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children around the world to share God’s love in a tangible way during the Christmas season.  I said the world's largest and I meant it!  They have collected and delivered more than 113 MILLION gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 150 countries!

There are over 500,000 volunteers working on this gift-giving project each year and shoeboxes are collected all over the world:  United States, Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.  This year three of them came from our home. 

The first step in the process*, is to decide whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and then to select an age category (2-4, 5-9, or 10-14) of the boy or girl.  Our family quickly decided to pack boxes for children similar to my son and daughters.

Next, we started making a list of the items we wanted to include in our boxes.  We read through the suggested items to include and my kids marveled at the hygiene products listed, taking a moment to appreciate the fact that soap and a toothbrush are not gifts they need to be excited to receive...but perhaps they should be a bit more grateful for them.

When all was said and done, we had three strategically packed boxes filled to the rim with goodies! 

My son's box included a hairbrush, wooden football peg game, a bar of soap, four toothbrushes, a paper airplane kit, super hero stickers, markers, deodorant and a puzzle of Chicago.

My daughters' boxes contained markers, notepads, flower and dolphin stickers, a magnetic drawing board, hairbrushes and hair clips, Hello Kitty toothbrushes, stuffed animals (a dog and a cow, one of my daughter's favorite animal), a jewelry-making kit and a foam sticker art kit.

With each box you are also asked to donate $7 to pay for the shipping.  You can either include your payment in a provided envelope or pay online.  Operation Christmas Child has added a new feature this year; if you register your boxes online, you will receive and email confirmation letting you know which country your box was delivered in.  We're very excited to receive that email next month!  And we're already looking forward to packing our boxes next year! 

"The things you take for granted someone else is praying for." - Unknown

* - If you would like to pack up a box to donate this weekend, you can find all you need to know (suggested items to donate, shoebox size, drop off locations, FAQs, etc.) on their website:

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