Are you familiar with Operation Christmas Child? It is a wonderful mission opportunity that allows donors to spread God’s love by sending Christmas gifts to children in impoverished countries, through an organization called Samaritan’s Purse. Since 1993, 124 million shoebox gifts have been sent to kids around the world.
To start, choose a gender and an age group (2-4, 5-9, 10-14). Purchase a plastic shoe box (less than $3 at Walmart), and fill it with age-appropriate gifts. Then, visit your country’s Samaritan’s Purse website to find a drop-off location. Below are the links to the Samaritans Purse websites for the US, Canada, and the UK:
Samaritan’s Purse United States (National Collection: November 16-23)
Samaritan’s Purse Canada (National Collection: November 16-22)
Samaritan’s Purse United Kingdom (National Collection: November 1-18)
Can’t fill a shoebox by the deadline? You may ship completed shoeboxes to Samaritan’s Purse year-round (address below). The organization also gives donors the opportunity to build and pay for shoeboxes online.
I have participated in Operation Christmas Child since childhood, but this year, I am especially excited to take part. I recently found out that a good friend of mine, who immigrated to the United States from Romania as an adult, received shoebox gifts from Samaritan’s Purse as a young child. Her family did not have enough money to buy Christmas gifts, and opening an Operation Christmas Child shoebox filled with thoughtful gifts was the highlight of her year.
Operation Christmas Child
P.O. Box 3000
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607
I headed to the store this afternoon to purchase gifts for three boxes (boy age 5-9, girl age 5-9, and girl age 10-14). My goal was to choose a combination of practical hygiene products (washcloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bars of soap, and hair combs) and items that promote creativity and education (crayons, coloring books, 2016 calendars, craft sets, pencils, and notebooks. I also threw in a Care Bear for the little girl, a ball and set of cars for the boy, and hair accessories for the older girl.
Photos: Courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse, NashvilleWife.com