Okies, I know! Another Christmas post before November 12th. I get it! But you’re gonna like this one – I promise. And if you don’t, we can’t be friends. Sorries. That was totes harsh, I still love you and of course, we can still be friends! I didn’t mean it!
Every year in November, my church does Operation Christmas Child. It’s a program run by a non-profit called Samaritan’s Purse. Every single church I have ever attended has done this, and I love it. It’s in collaboration with Franklin Graham if you know who that is.
Here’s the deal: you pick a shoebox, you fill it with things for a child, you put $10 inside for shipping and processing, and you let the company deliver it to a child in a third-world country (is third world still politically correct? Less developed country? Economically deficient country? I seriously don’t know. But ya’ll understand what I’m trying to say!)
You can use any shoebox you have at home, or you can pick up one of their shoeboxes that they provide specifically for this project. You can wrap the shoeboxes, but you have to make sure they can still be opened. The collection week this year is November 12th-18th so my shoebox has to be at my church this Sunday. Thankfully my dad sent me a text saying that he and my mom had just packed their shoeboxes and that reminded me that I needed to get my act together and get mine done.
There are guidelines (obvi – come on peeps and meeps, you don’t want there to be chaos!) so you have to select a gender and then an age group. I usually do a female and will rotate through the ages, but this year, since I had such a great time nannying that cutie 3-year-old boy over the summer (who I have a playdate with next weekend!) I decided to do something out of my comfort zone and pack for a boy 2-4 years old.
They say to pack a WOW toy, and then some school supplies and hygiene items. You CAN NOT send candy, lotions, liquids, toothpaste, war-related items, gambling related items (not even a deck of cards!), or money. Especially money!! I heard a story once of a person working at a collection site and they opened a shoebox and it was just full of money. They used that money to go out and buy items to pack other shoeboxes haha. Also, if your box is super full and another one needs a few more things, they sometimes will move things around.
Onto my box! I was lucky enough to grab one of the designed shoeboxes from church, and their pamphlets so I didn’t need to get anything like that on my own. You can print the labels and stuff from the internet so that’s all good.
The boxes come flat and there are instructions on the box on how to fold it and put it together. It’s so simple. Like I don’t struggle with it so basically an infant can do it with no problems.
Then you have to go shopping! Dollar stores are my JAM for this! One year, I was doing the oldest age level and for a girl, so I got hair things and sewing things and art things and metal cookie tins and packed it all in the tins so that it was waterproof and easy to store once it got there. The only thing is that you have to remember that it needs to fit into a shoebox. Something that my brain always decides to forget.
This year, I decided on a little boy so I got him this cute stuffed dog, some bouncy/squishy balls, a colouring book with paints, some crayons and markers, a notebook with blank paper, and then some soap and a toothbrush.
Then I had to Tetris it all into the shoebox.
As you can see, I tried my hardest to cram all that stuff in there. I got the lid closed – don’t you worry! I have at least twenty years of practice doing this! I can get so much stuff in there you have no idea. Thinking about it now, almost every single one of my boxes has probably been opened and stuff taken out and put in other boxes haha.
Okies, so once you get everything done, you need to put $10 in the shoebox right on top. This money does not go to the child. It goes to OCC and getting the boxes overseas. This is not a scam. Don’t worry. I’ve researched and I fully support and endorse this. This post was in no way sponsored by OCC. Each shoebox gets a little New Testament in it (yes, this is a Christian organization) before they are given to the children.
Then just fill out the label and close the box. Sometimes a little extra help is needed to close the box… I’m looking at you T! Geeze girl, figure this out already!
Elastics are a girl’s best friend! You can see the label there, the age groups are 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14. Samesies for the girls.
And that’s it!! I’m taking mine to church on Sunday and they will collect them all and drop them off. If you are doing this at home you don’t need to drop them at a church. The website should have a list of drop off sites for you.
Have you ever heard of this program? Have you participated in it or something similar?