Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Operation Christmas Child


Last week I was at a Mom 2 Mom meeting when one of the moms brought up Operation Christmas child. The purpose of Operation Christmas Child is to use gift-filled shoeboxes to share God’s love in a tangible way with needy children around the world. Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has collected and delivered more than 113 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 150 countries through Operation Christmas Child. Shoebox gifts are collected in the United States, Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. More than 500,000 volunteers worldwide, with more than 100,000 of those in the United States, are involved in collecting, shipping, and distributing shoebox gifts.

When I heard about this I knew this was the prefect thing to do with my kids. I am always trying to remind them that we are very blessed, to be kind, and to help others out. I had specifically been talking to them a couple nights before about how there are children in this world that have nothing. I told them that we should go through their toys and find an organization that we could donate them too. They were a surprised when I told them there are families that can't afford food. The look on their little faces were so shocked and heartbroken. Once they heard that they started to really think about what they could give, they wanted to go through the toys right then. Plus is was almost bedtime so why not give all your toys away if you can stay up. Anyhow so when I heard about Operation Christmas Child, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to have my kids do this.  That night at dinner I explained it all to the kids, really trying to get them a good understanding of it. Hunter, being the oldest, really grasped it which was awesome. 


The next day I told Hunter we would be going to the store to get the items for our boxes. At first we thought we would just do 2 boxes but then changed to 3. We did 2 boys ages 5-9 and 1 girl ages 2-4. Hunter and I picked out the items to go in the box. I was going to take Weston back to pick some stuff but after being in the store for a good amount of time I didn't want to go back. Things we picked out were Legos, Cars, How to Train Your Dragon figurine, clothes, dinos, snakes, candy, tooth brush, tooth paste, coloring book, crayons, doll, My Little Pony, hair ties, necklaces and some other items. While we were at the store a lady saw us looking at shirts. She told Hunter she liked the shirt we were looking at and he replied we are here today at the store to buy other boys and girls things for Christmas because they can't afford it and we want to help, we are not buy anything for us. The lady looked at him and said thats so kind of you, we need to help each other out. It was really cute.  He was so proud of what we were doing it makes me want to cry thinking about it. That is one thing I really want to instill in my kids - thinking of others and always helping people where you can. I feel like its so important to do. Its important #makingsmiles in the smallest ways.  After the store we came home and packed our boxes up. Weston had a hard time because he really liked everything in the boxes but after talking with him a little more about it he did a great job and got more excited about it. I heard him this morning talking with Hunter about what toys they could give other children. This was such a happy moment for me, I love that they really are getting it.   


Here is a short video of my kids working on their boxes. 




Here is the process:

Individuals, families, churches, and groups fill empty shoeboxes with gifts of toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and notes of encouragement. During National Collection Week, Nov. 17-24, Samaritan’s Purse will collect the gift-filled shoeboxes at more than 4,000 drop-off sites in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Operation Christmas Child also offers the opportunity year-round to pack personalized shoebox gifts online. Go to samaritanspurse.org and click on Operation Christmas Child to select toys and gift items, write a note of encouragement, and “pack” them in a shoebox. Shoebox gifts are prepared for overseas shipment at nine major processing centers across the United States—Atlanta; Baltimore; Boone, N.C.; Charlotte; Dallas; Denver; Honolulu; Minneapolis; and Southern California. Samaritan’s Purse will deliver the gifts to children in more than 100 countries on six continents. Donors can find out the country where their gifts are delivered by creating shipping labels and using the donation form found at samaritanspurse.org Click on “Pack a Shoebox” / “Follow-Your-Box Label.”



There is still time fill a shoebox! 

What are some ways you give during the year? Do you do anything special around the holidays? Have  you started to teach you kid or kids about giving? 

37 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great cause! I have never heard of this before now! I'm going to share this with the mommy group I'm involved in! Great idea, thank you for sharing!

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  2. This is such a heartwarming post! I just shared it with my Twitter followers. Thank you for a great idea to showcase the spirit of the holidays :)

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  3. What a great thing to do! I want to teach my daughter to give. Right now she is two, so it's a good age to start.

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  4. i love reading about the generosity of people! and teaching children about that!

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  5. I participate in this cause through my church! I love doing it with my family :)

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  6. My little one is still too young to get this, but we'll definitely be participating to teach her about giving as she gets older. I've done Operation Christmas Child several times in the past, and it's always so much fun picking out the stuff for the boxes!

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  7. I've done this in years past with my kiddos, such a great way to teach them about giving to others. Especially the useful things that they use daily and take for granted, like a toothbrush!

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  8. Aww this is amazing!! You are awesome!! I dont have kids but when I do I want to do this with them as well :)

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  9. This is such a wonderful idea and glad your teaching your children about the less fortunate ones around the world.

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  10. it's so great that you're doing this with your kids! we used to do this every year, but haven't since we moved out west. maybe we'll have to start back up!

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  11. Love this wonderful idea and such a great cause too.
    Hi! Stopping by from Mom Bloggers Club. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

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  12. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Operation Christmas Child! My kids have so much fun picking stuff out for the shoe boxes every year! Great way to teach children about giving too.

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  13. So cute! What a sweet boy. I love when parent get their kids involved in programs like this!

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  14. This is great! Way to teach your kids that holidays are about so much more than receiving!

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  15. What a wonderful way to involve your kids in opening their hearts and giving to others while they are young. Those experiences are so impactful and will really stick with them as they grow up.

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  16. I love this. I remember participating in it when I was younger:)

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  17. We've done this previous Christmas' but not with this organization! Will definitely check it out to show support this year. LOVE it!

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  18. What a great idea! We have The Angel Tree here in Utah but this sounds great also! Sharing!

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  19. The is fantastic. What a great thing to teach your children. I have done this type of thing (the tree angel) the past few years. It is fantastic.

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  20. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post!!! While my son is only 17 months old and still just a touch too young to understand the concept, I can't WAIT until we get to do things such as this together and teach him the importance of humanitarian efforts! At my church, we hold a gift mart every year and I am helping as a shopping leader this year! It is amazing to see the families getting gifts for their children. Over 3,000 toys are donated/bought for children in the community! It's a wonderful thing. What a great organization this sounds like :)

    Mel @ Melly Moments (Blogging Mamas Group)

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  21. What a great thing to do as a family. This is an awesome way to teach kids about giving.

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  22. Beautiful! 'Tis the Season to Give! <3

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  23. What a great way to give back to others. I like how you can also donate and fill shoeboxes year round too

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  24. Absolutely beautiful video and a great thing you're teaching your children. I think I may do this with my little boy . My little boy uses his money from his piggy bank to buy a gift for the Angel Tree for the last few years so, maybe we can do this instead . Thank you for sharing! Your children are precious!

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  25. Touching. Great way for a family to truly bond over the holiday. Thank you for doing this.

    Thrifting Diva
    www.thriftingdiva.com

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  26. What a beautiful idea, thank you so much for sharing. I am definitely going to look in to this to do with my son. We make a point of donating a lot before the holidays so we can discuss how fortunate we are and how great it is to help those that aren't as lucky - this is a great way to add on to that.

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  27. Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas! It's amazing how much joy a little box can bring to children. I've seen how the children open the box here in Ecuador and the joy in their faces is unbelivable.

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  28. This is such a great idea. Will keep this in mind when my little one gets a little older!

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  29. This is such a great idea. I've never heard of it before so thanks so much for sharing!

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  30. This is so great. I love this idea, and the others that are out there. We talked about donating one of their gifts to a child in need so they can have a great Christmas as well.

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  31. This is seriously an amazing idea, and I love that you have your kids involved! I can't wait to do things like this when my boys are older!

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  32. Awesome! What a great thing to do as a family.

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  33. We put together boxes at my MOPS group last week.

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  34. I love this! So important to teach kids these lessons :)

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