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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box / Charity


Every year a wonderful thing happens; children in orphanages all over the world are presented with a shoe box full of goodies from toys and books to personal hygiene products. How are these boxes delivered? They are shipped by volunteers of Samaritan Purse who run the Operation Christmas Child national program. Where do these boxes come from? People like you!

Operation Christmas Child’s mission is to give kids, who wouldn’t normally get a single gift, a happy Christmas. But they need help to do this. Wouldn’t you want to be the one responsible for bringing a smile to a child on Christmas?

The shoe box and items I put together for Operation Christmas Child in 2011.

What you need to do:

1. Find a normal-sized shoe box (not for construction boots) or a 6-quart plastic storage box with a lid.

2. Pick an age group and gender for your shoe box.

The age groups are 2-4, 5-9, 10-14.

3. Buy items appropriate for the age and sex of the child and pack it all into the shoe box.
TIP #1: You don’t have to buy anything expensive. I bought everything at the dollar store.
Suggested Items:
Toiletries
Toys
Clothing
School Supplies
Stuffed Animals
Shoes/Socks
Towels
Books
Soap
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Hair Brush/Hair Ties
TIP #2: Put toothpaste and soap into separate Ziploc baggies.
4. Participants have included photos of themselves and a letter to the child. I’ve read that many children have written in return.

5. You can wrap the box with Christmas wrapping paper. If you do, wrap the lid and box separately. Then get a label to put on top with the age group and gender clearly written.
TIP #3: Let your kids decorate the box with markers, glitter, stickers, whatever they want.
6. Fit two rubber bands around the shoe box to keep it closed.

7. You can add $7 to help with shipping costs, but this is not mandatory.

8. Locate a collection site where you can drop off your shoe box. Find your local drop-off.

National Pick-Up Week is Nov 16-23.

9. You can even track your box to see where it goes. You'll have to get a tracking label from Samaritan's Purse, which costs $7 on their website. 

10. Tell your friends to do this fun, charitable project with their kids.
  

I first found out about Operation Christmas Child in 2009 when I read an article about it in my local newspaper. I still have that article. And this year, I'm doing it with my nephews.




66 comments:

  1. Our church used to do those in the past. Not sure why we didn't last year.

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    1. That's great! I know a lot of churches do it.

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  2. This is awesome, Chrys! Thanks for sharing this idea. It's a simple thing to do, too. I'll check and see if we have Operation Christmas Child here in Canada. It's never too early to plan for the C word :)

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    1. I'm not sure if they do it in Canada or not but I have a feeling they might since they deliver all around the world.

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  3. Good for you! I usually do this through the church with some for local children and others for a children's home. In other places, instead of a children's home, it was gifts for children who had a parent in prison. Keep up the good work and this is something fun to do with small children.

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    1. Giving gifts to any child who needs it is a great thing to do. :)

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  4. That's a really nice thing to do for the less fortunate. It reminds me a bit of the huge event my university did a few years ago, assembling care packages for soldiers and veterans (though not for any holiday). We also decorated the insides of their boxes with cut-out pictures from magazines to make them smile, like animals, cars, fruits, and inspirational words or phrases.

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    1. Putting together care packages for soldiers and veterans is a great cause! I've sent bundles of cars to soldiers. :)

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  5. I hadn't heard of this before - what a fantastic idea! I am going to check to see if there is a local drop-off here. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome! This is such a great cause and it's so much fun to do. :)

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  6. It's so nice to read things like this taking place. So many people forget those less fortunate. And children less-fortunate is heart-breaking. Good for you Chrys!
    PS - Did you mean rubber bands instead of rubber hands? ;)

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  7. We've done that before. Need to get them done before Thanksgiving I believe.

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    1. Yes, the collection time is November 16-23.

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  8. It's a great idea. I'll see if my daughter wants to do it this year. :)

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    1. I hope she does. This will be great for her to do. :)

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  9. We usually do something similar with shoeboxes for the elderly. You're right - it doesn't have to include expensive items at all. I also like to put something soft in there, like a small stuffed animal, and/or something less practical but kind of fun, like a small game or book of puzzles. :)

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    1. Shoe boxes for the elderly is a great idea! Oh, yes, teddy bears and games/books are great items to include. :)

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  10. That's a cool idea. Last year there were lots of boxes for donating toys where I live, so I made a point to get something to donate. =)

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    1. That's good! Those Toys for Tots boxes (and boxes for military families) are awesome to donate to.

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  11. This is wonderful especially since they would be so appreciative to get these little things that many kids here take for granted. I'd rather see (or picture seeing) their smiling faces than hearing many kids here at Christmas complain if they don't get the latest x-bx or whatever. I once, in fact, took a gift away from one of my friend's kids because they complained about the cheap gift i gave them and dropped it right in front of me smiling. I just said OK, you have too much and took it back. Was that kid surprised and then whined to his mom-my friend. I just looked at her and said that when a kid belittles a gift, then this is what happens. She didn't disagree with me.

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    1. Exactly! It really makes you see how blessed the children in our lives are who don't realize how powerful and meaningful it can be to get your own toothbrush or even a calculator. Kids nowadays are so spoiled and take for granted the things they are privileged to have. I'm glad you took that gift back. Rotten little kid!

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  12. That's a wonderful and cute idea! I've donated toys before but never done something quite like that. Sounds like fun :)

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    1. It is a lot of fun. And it makes you feel so great knowing you're going to put a smile on a child's face. :)

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  13. A wonderful idea for those children who wouldn't get anything at Christmas.
    Thanks for telling us about it.
    Yvonne.

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  14. I love it! We recently got introduced to our local homeless shelter, and seeing the kids there and how they latched onto the dollar toys people brought, it would break your heart. You never know how much a little thing can mean.

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    1. Being able to see that in person would be amazing!

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  15. That is a wonderful thing to do with your nephews, Chrys :) Several churches I've been involved with have done Operation Shoe Box and I've participated in the past; such a great thing to do!

    betty

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    1. It's great that so many churches do it. Now I hope that people outside of church will do it too. :)

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  16. Such a kind, noble gesture. Isn't great how the holidays seem to bring out the best in us? My daughter and grandson take Care Packages to the Diamond Children's Hospital and last year she also put together boxes of water, socks and cookies for a couple of homeless folks she sees on her way to work each day :-) My grandson really enjoys making the packages for the children because he says they smile the brightest!

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    1. That is so great that your daughter did that. I want to do something for a local homeless shelter this year too. :)

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    2. We're thinking of volunteering at the soup kitchen this year, which would go a long way toward propelling me to finish a WIP (fiction) on the subject.
      I forgot to mention how much I liked your Halloween decorations!

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  17. I've done that before, way back when I went to Sunday school. I help my cousin do it now.

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    1. Cat... you never ever went to Sunday school. I asked the Principal.

      P.S. I've got a shoe box left (minus one shoe) so you know what I'll do.

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  18. What a great idea! I'll check and see if one's in our area.
    Thanks, Chrys.

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  19. That is so awesome! I think I'll have to do that with my son this year. I want to teach him that it feels good to give. :)

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  20. What a great organization. And good for you for getting the word out there.

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  21. This is such a cool thing for them to offer and for people to do. I can get each of my kids to one for their age group!

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  22. A great idea and well worth supporting if you can. I have donated 'shoeboxes' for a good number of years and have mine nearly ready to go this year. Another good idea is to collect items through the year (like I tend to do) this way it isn't too expensive and you can often pick up items when they are on sale.

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    1. Yes, I had collected items during the year. It saves time and prevents you from having to buy everything at once.

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  23. This is a great idea. There's something similar in the UK too.

    I can imagine the box making a big difference to a child who has almost nothing.

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    1. That's great! I'm glad the UK offers something like this. :)

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  24. I love Operation Christmas Child! We've been doing the shoe boxes for as long as I can remember. The bookstore where I work has a big display for it and it's so much fun to help people with their boxes =)

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    1. YAY!!!! That's so great. I've never seen this advertised anywhere else before. Stores and bookstores should put up displays for it.

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  25. What a wonderful project for children. Thanks for telling us about it. My church, in the past, has filled shoe boxes with items for children. I don't recall where they were sent, but we had a certain number to fill. I haven't heard whether we're doing it again this year or not.

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    1. That's great! I know they can be sent all over the world. :)

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  26. Good reminder of what we can do for the young ones this Christmas. I'll run this idea through the family and see what we can come up with.

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    1. Awesome! I hope your family has a blast with it. :)

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  27. This is really great! I usually have my kiddo donate toys (hers or bought) around Christmastime, but I think I might do this this year. She'll really like picking out all the things and writing a letter :) Thanks for posting about this!!

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    1. Kids really do enjoy giving to other kids. We just have to give them the opportunity. :)

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  28. What a great way to do something for another. You're helping your kids as well as someone else's.

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    1. Exactly! There's nothing better than that. :)

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  29. That's a fantastic idea. In the UK, primary schools do this and the shoeboxes get sent to Romania and other places. I'm sure your nephews will have loads of fun with it!

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    1. I love that the UK does this as well. I think many countries around the world participate in Operation Christmas Child. :)

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  30. Nice post .Thanks for share your great idea.

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  31. Great post! It's worth to share with others. Hopefully this operation will happen again this year.

    Thanks,
    Nicolas - Volunteer in the Philippines / Writer / Blogger

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