For many years, we have packed shoebox gifts through Operation Christmas Child. The premise is simple: pack a shoebox full of items for a child in need. What isn’t so simple is the impact this can make on you, your child, and the child receiving the box!
Two years ago, my oldest daughter helped me shop, pack a box, and take it to a drop-off center in our town. Four months later, we received a photo and letter from two sisters who received our box! Although I had included a photo and address, I never really expected to hear anything! It was a blessing and made the whole process much more real for our family!
How to participate in Operation Christmas Child:
1) Pack a shoe box: Pick an age group, gender, and include items such as small toys, school supplies, and toiletries. Click here to find full instructions.
2) Drop off the box at a local collection site: National Collection Week is November 15th-22nd. Find a collection site here.
3) Follow your gift: If you make your gift donation online (to cover shipping costs), you can print out a special label and track the gift! Find instructions here.
We haven’t used this option before, but it would be so exciting to see where our packages end up! We’re going to give it a try and see how it goes. I’m envisioning this as a great spin-off for a learning opportunity (maybe a new country to study?)!!
If you are unable to pack a shoebox, Samaritan’s Purse (the sponsoring ministry of Operation Christmas Child) also offers a gift catalog. You can give funds to purchase livestock, feed a baby for a week, give sports equipment, purchase mosquito nets, and much, much more.