Every year, the organization Samaritan’s Purse collects shoeboxes stuffed full of goodies that they then deliver to needy children all over the globe for Christmas.
National Collection Week is in November, before Thanksgiving—this year, November 12-19! That means that we’re in the middle of prime shoebox packing season.
My kids and I have made our “shoebox wish list” of all the goodies and gifts we’d like to send to a child overseas through Operation Christmas Child (OCC) and we’ve prayed (just in case God wants us to send Hot Wheels). This week, I’ll be hunting through dollar stores and Wal-Mart for the gifts.
My daughters are adding everything they see on TV and in Wal-Mart to their Christmas lists. So, it’s the perfect moment to take them shopping for gifts to give to another child, a child they’ll never meet on this planet and a child who isn’t likely to be opening any other packages on Christmas morning.
It’s a reminder to be grateful. It’s a way to shift our focus off of getting and onto giving.
I hope that you’ve packed a shoebox before and are making one again this year! If not, here’s everything you need to know to get involved in Operation Christmas Child.
You can begin by learning more about the organization here, like:
- The impact of OCC.
- What to pack in your shoebox.
- Where to find the closest drop-off location.
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
If you make a $7 donation online to cover the shipping for your box, you can even print off a label that lets you track it here!! A few weeks after delivery, they’ll send you an email telling you what country your box was delivered to and some general information about the needs in that area. Our boxes two years ago ended up in Tanzania.
I usually let each of my girls pick items to fill a box for a child their gender and age. This year, we’ll be sending off a box for a 2-4-year-old girl, and two 5-9 -year-old girls. We picked out jump ropes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs, socks, t-shirts, small games like jacks and dominoes, stuffed animals, some candy, some shiny pencils and a pencil sharpener and more. We practically have to sit on the boxes to make it all fit!
Most important of all, pray for the child who will receive your shoebox! Prayer is so powerful. Don’t just send stuff, send gifts along with time spent on your knees.
Here are some of my favorite OCC videos.
There are so many opportunities to give every holiday season, but this is my very favorite. I hope you’ll make Operation Christmas Child a part of your holiday traditions, as well!
Have you packed a shoe box before? Where did it end up? Are you packing shoeboxes this year?
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2012 Heather King