This year my family decided to participate in Operation Christmas Child, a Charity run by Samaritan’s Purse, International Relief (sidenote: even though this is a non-compensated, sponsored post, we had actually already packed the box and I took pictures with the intent of posting BEFORE I received the invite to participate). Basically, pack up a shoebox (or other similarly sized box) with items for a child located overseas, living in poverty. I felt like this would be a great organization to support, as well as be a great teaching moment for my children.
You are able to choose a boy or girl of different age ranges to buy for. As a family we chose to shop for a 12-14 girl. I tried to pick a range of items that I felt would help put a smile on the child’s face. Remember, these children do not necessarily have running water, socks, shoes or even a bar of soap. These conveniences that we take for granted would be a welcome gift. I tried to cover all basic hygiene essentials:
Many American children may frown at receiving these items, but for a child that has never owned a bar of soap, these are exciting prospects.
But I also wanted the child to not only receive basic care essentials, but something that made them feel a little bit special, something that they could treasure and hug in times of sadness, something that reminded that they are loved by strangers half way across the world. So we included these:
My 12 year old daughter helped pick out most of the items and was amazed to TRULY realize that there were other little girls out there that were the same age as her that went without toothbrushes… it really brought into perspective for her how blessed she really is, and how lucky we are to have a home over our heads and food in our bellies.
There are some other items that are not allowed in the boxes, such as war related toys, glass or breakable items, and liquids. To get a list of suggested items, and to find out what else you should not include, visit the OCC website.
If you want to participate, I encourage you to do so, especially with Blogfrog matching the first 200 boxes pledged – see below for more info! Grab a shoe sized box, print off the OCC labels, and get to work.
It does cost $7 to ship these boxes, so OCC accepts donations inside the box (they do open and inspect each box before shipping to the children), or online. If you donate online you are given a barcode label to place on the box that allows you to track where your package is delivered.
Need a little more encouragement? Check out this heartwarming video of one woman that received a shoebox as a child:
This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.
Kim is a Marketing Director by day and Crafter/Blogger/Blog Designer by night. She lives with her husband, three beautiful children, and shih-tzu, Mushu. For even more seven thirty three fun, like her on Facebook, Google +, or follow along via Twitter!
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