Operation Christmas Child
With the holiday season upon us, I was looking for a way to give back this year. I love shopping for my loved ones, especially my daughter Bella Rose, but also want to teach her that Christmas is about more than just getting presents. I saw a blogger mom I follow on Instagram post about Operation Christmas Child, and it sounded like something I would be able to commit to. Read more to find out if it's something you could take part in too!
Operation Christmas child is a project organized by a group called Samaritan's Purse. They are a Christian disaster relief and development organization focused on helping struggling children in the developing world. Each year, they collect gift-filled shoe boxes and distribute them to children in need, in areas like the Caribbean, Latin America, West Africa, and the Ukraine.
To participate- decide on what gender and age you would like to gift this box to. Once you determine who it's for, print the label and stick it on the outside of your present. We picked a girl ages 2-4 years, since we have a pretty good idea of what little girls that age like. Plus this allowed for Bella to join in on the fun and help choose some of the items. We spent a Saturday afternoon shopping for the child, plus I got some of my other Christmas shopping done.
Once you have your items purchased, find a standard size shoe box. Everything you purchased must fit in the box with the lid on. Wrapping the box is optional, but I chose to and got Bella to 'help' me. It is recommended you start with one 'wow' item and then include other items like personal hygiene items, school supplies, and toys.
Bella's current obsession is all things horses/unicorns, so we started with a unicorn stuffy and book as our 'wow' items. Then we gathered personal hygiene items including a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, tissue, and nail polish.
We included one outfit and then some craft/school supplies; stickers, crayons, pencil and eraser. I wanted to include a colouring book as well but wasn't able to find a small enough one to fit in the box. After I took these pictures I found a small notebook and included that too!
We also made a card, complete with scribbles by Bella, and included a photo of Bella. Our box was full and ready to go! Collection Week for the shoe boxes is this week only! November 13-19. Find the closest drop off location near you; there are several in Saskatoon. Samaritan's Purse also asks that you donate minimum $10 to cover shipping costs, etc.
I enjoyed participating in Operation Christmas Child with my daughter and would love to find out about more ways to give back. Let me know in the comments below what you and your family do to help those in need.