Every year since I had my daughter and now with my son we pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritans Purse.
I absolutely love doing this. It is an amazing opportunity to teach your kids. Here are just a few of the topics we touch on during this time:
Serving, Helping, Loving, Sharing the gospel, Being a light, Salt of the earth, Sacrifice
I don’t know how God does it, but He does. This week in school my daughter is learning about Helping thanks to the letter H. And shoebox collection week is the week after next. How perfectly timed! Thank you Lord!
So we started our shopping today.
I usually need to hit Dollar Tree and Target. I average about $20-30 a box, which is probably on the higher end. I try to include a few nicer things and I know this can be a stretch for some. I figure when I give unto the Lord I should give my first fruits. So with that and stewardship in mind I try to find balance to be a blessing. For the girls boxes I love including a doll and a decent one at that. I find these small baby dolls at Target for about $3 each and that is my shoebox splurge for the girls. This year I get to do a boy box since I have a son now and I am excited! I admit there is a mommy learning curve in what to include in a boy box! Comments appreciated 🙂
Samaritans Purse does this amazing thing where you can buy your ticket online ($7 a box) and find out where your shoebox went. The first year we did it, we were unable to find out. I think this was do to a botched job of wrapping an over stuffed cardboard shoebox. Last year I bought the plastic shoe box size container at Target ($0.94) hoping it would hold up for the child to keep and to withstand the journey. It did! Our box ended up in the hands of a little girl in Mexico.
They also sent us this magazine with pictures of kids getting the boxes and going through their discipleship program. As we were discussing our shoeboxes we took some time to look through the magazine and learn about the process. Thanks Samaritans Purse!
As we drive the boxes to the drop off sight we pray for their recipients. Who knows what the Lord will do in the heart of a child through this box. A local church is used to help deliver boxes. That child will never forget that. In the midst of whatever their life may be, the church remembered them. Just as in our life whatever it may be Christ remembers us. So I hope to pave the way with my little shoeboxes a path for the gospel.
This year I hope to have a meal and celebrate wherever our boxes end up.
We are still in filling, praying, and decorating (plan to decorate the plastic tops with stickers and messages) mode…
but here is a picture of what we have so far:
I’ll do an updated post with contents once we are done!
Here are a few ways I hope to grow this tradition as my children grow:
-Skipping holiday gifts one year to help at a local processing center
-Have them save money throughout the year to purchase some gifts for their box
-Have them plan the dinner to celebrate
-Invite other children to join in praying and packing our boxes
Lastly here is a link to a post which I feel does a great job cheer leading for Operation Shoebox and suggesting items to pack: