Looking for a way to get your kids involved in giving this holiday season? Operation Christmas Child has a unique giving experience that is perfect for families.
Operation Christmas Child uses shoebox gifts filled with toys, hygiene items and school supplies to give love to children in need around the world. Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has collected and delivered more than 124 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories through Operation Christmas Child. Their National Shoebox Collection is this week (November 16-23, 2015.) During this week, people can pack and then drop off shoeboxes for kids in need at local drop-off sites open across the country.
Packing a shoebox for a child is easy. You just choose the gender and age of the child you want, and pick one "wow" item. Operation Christmas Child recommends the wow item be a toy or something age-appropriate that would really make a child feel excited. They also encourage you to fill the box with some practical items too, like school supplies, clothing, or hygiene items. (More instructions on how to pack a box are here, and ideas for gifts for the box are here.)
We decided to pack for a young boy. We included a new shirt, a backpack, some school supplies, a candy cane, a book, and a new Star Wars toy as our "wow" item. We then went online and purchased a $7 tracking ticket which will allow us to watch where our shoe box goes. This also helps offset the price of shipping our box to its recipient.
If you are interested in doing a shoebox with your family, the process is simple. Just find a box, pack it, pay for a print a label, and then find a local drop-off point for your box. You can also share a photo of your box on social media with the hashtag #ipackedashoebox. It’s an easy and tangible way to involve your kids in giving this holiday season.