We mentioned a few weeks ago that we would be sharing our service projects with you…so here’s our first one! Operation Christmas Child. It’s such a great program. I am so glad that Tammy found out about this one because I had never heard of it. Basically, you pack a shoe box (or shoe box sized box) with gifts (they have specifics on that here), drop it off at your nearest collection center – which you can find on their site here, and they ship it to a little boy or girl in need somewhere else around the world!!! There’s a darling and much better explanation of how it all works here if you want more details.
Tammy grabbed these official boxes from church, but you can literally use a shoe box, or plastic storage box, or any box that’s about the size of a shoe box. My oldest daughter, Jayda, chose to create it for a 5-9 year old girl. I was kind of expecting that! But it made it so fun and easy for her to go to the store with me a pick out some cute things for our mystery girl to receive for Christmas this year. She even wrote up a sweet card and included a picture of her and her siblings – bless her little heart. Our “Wow” gift was the Hello Kitty Doll and matching Coloring/Activity Book. We included other fun things like candy, crayons, stickers, a puzzle, headbands, a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Tammy and her little guy, Roman, chose to create a box for a 2-4 year old boy. He had such a hard time deciding which gift would be his “Wow” gift! He couldn’t make up his mind…it was adorable. He settled on Mack (the big truck from the Cars movie), a small football, Imaginext toys, Batman PJs, socks, soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste. Once our boxes were packed and labeled properly, I dropped them off at a nearby collection center. It was less than 6 miles from my house!
National Collection week is always the 3rd week in November, so unfortunately all of the 5,000 collection centers across the country aren’t functioning at the moment. BUT there’s still time to participate! If you live near any of these Processing Centers, they are accepting boxes through December 16. Another amazing option is building your shoe box online! SO EASY. For only $25 (which is definitely less than what we spent per box – it’s a great price!) you can customize your shoe box for a child in need. And if you are looking for a great gift that has a special meaning or for someone who literally has everything…give them the gift of service! They have $25 gift cards available for you to send to someone so they can have the opportunity to build a gift box for one of these sweet kids.
These boxes literally go all over the world. Fiji, Phillipines, Thailand… just to name a few. I love seeing their reactions to their gifts!
For my kids, one of the most exciting parts about this project is that we get to find out where our box gets shipped! Just enter your info on this page here and once everything is processed (mid-December) you are able to track where your box was sent. Seeing these kids just warms my heart. I wish I could be the one to actually deliver the gifts! That would be the best gift for me : ) Their smiles are priceless! I am really looking forward to next year when I can spread the word about this more (and sooner!) and even host a Packing Party.
Don’t forget you can still participate in this wonderful program! It’s as simple as a few clicks on their website to donate a gift box to a child in need.
xo, Lora & Tammy