One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is to participate in Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse. Have you done this before? I highly recommend it as a family activity!! It's so good to focus on giving!
Yesterday, the boys and I hit up Walmart and The Dollar Store.
First, I prepared their hearts, because, if we aren't proactive, we'll end up reactive, and the whole situation will become unattractive!!! We talked about how this was a mission to bless children in other countries who may not have ever received a Christmas gift before. How will we bless them? How awesome will it be that they will hear the Good News of Jesus through Samaritan's Purse and our little box? This is not about us, it's about God's glory and blessing the socks right off these kiddos!
Next, we go on a crazy shopping spree. We try to be good stewards and find as many fun and useful items as we can to pack our shoe boxes. We look for all the best deals, and we make our dollars go far. We shop for a boy and a girl. This year we chose the 5-9 age range. We spent an average of about $20 per box.
Then, we packed up our boxes... fitting and refitting everything in like a puzzle! We usually end up using our own shoe boxes, because we just have too many goodies and need a little extra room. We seal them up with a rubber band and label them for a boy and girl, as well as the age range. (Here's how to do it Scotty McCreery style!)
Here's what each child will be receiving this year...
World Animals Coloring Book, Crayons, 5 No-Sharpen Pencils, 2-pack of Peanuts Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, a Bar of Soap (in a baggie), Combs, Hard Non-melting Candy (in a baggie), a Jump Rope, a Pair of Knit Gloves, and a Spiky Bouncy Ball.
The boy will also receive:
A 5-pack of Hot Wheels Cars, a Yo-Yo, a Metal Harmonica with a little case, a Dinosaur, a T-Shirt, and a Henley Shirt.
The girl will also receive:
An Etch-a-Sketch Doodler, a Baby Doll, a Set of Rings, a Set of Bracelets, a Set of Hair Clips, a Button-down Owl Shirt, and a Button-down Plaid Shirt.
We make a donation online at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ to cover shipping costs for the box. This also allows you to track your box, so you can find out where in the world it ends up. My friend Rachel will be able to deliver boxes this year... I believe she'll be going to Serbia! She's so excited. Please pray for Rachel's safe journey.
Lastly, we pray over the boxes, asking God to bless these children and their families. We ask that He will lead them to the greatest gift of salvation through His son Jesus. We drop the boxes off at church so that they can get transported to a shipping center and flown out to some kids.
If you are interested in getting involved this year, November 14-21 is National Collection Week. You can visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ or call 1-800-353-5949 to get more information on gift suggestions and drop-off locations!! You will be so blessed by doing this!
Also, if you want to bless a child locally, Social Services and Foster Care Agencies often have special Christmas lists for their clients. That's really fun, too!!