Operation Christmas Child is an international ministry through Samaritan's Purse that has provided Christmas gifts to 100 million children in 130 countries over the last 20 years. Participating is easy. You pack a shoebox with some necessary items and a few toys for a boy or girl in any age range you choose. Then take your box and a $7.00 donation to cover shipping to an Operation Christmas Child drop off location.
You can pick up free Operation Christmas Child cardboard boxes to pack your items in but we have heard that it is better to just buy a plastic shoe box and lid because the children will actually use those boxes for collecting water and carrying back to their home or find other useful ways to put the box to work.
Nicholas and Rachel both made a shoebox. Each of them had a plastic shoe box, toothpaste, toothbrush, socks, lip balm, as well as twistable colored pencils, a sketchbook, Life Saver gummy candy, slinky, colored moldable putty, and a jump rope. Then each of them picked out a few extra things just for their box.
Rachel had a hard time understanding why we had to limit the items that we chose because they had to fit in the shoe box. We had to put many things back on the shelf and finally narrowed it down to these goodies:
We added our labels to the box lids so the organization would know the gender and age range for our gifts. Before we took the boxes to drop them off, we said prayers over them that they may brighten a child's day and bring the love of Christ to them at Christmas.
Don't have time to shop around for all these goodies but still want to participate? You can build an Operation Christmas Child shoebox online! Just click HERE and follow the steps to build your box from your computer (and no one will have to know that you are still in your pajamas!)