Thursday, 3 October 2013

Operation Christmas Child

82 days until Christmas and it's collection time for Operation Christmas Child.

Have you come across Operation Christmas Child before? We found it last year. It's a global operation run since 1993 by Samaritan's Purse where families, churches, schools and businesses put together gift-filled shoe boxes to be distributed to children in need. From 1993 through 2012, some 100 million gift boxes have been handed out in more than 130 countries (our Australian boxes go to kids in South East Asia and the South Pacific). Evangelical literature is also added to the boxes by Samaritan's Purse or given along side - Christmas is a Christian event, after all.

To pack a box for a child, you just need a shoe box and six presents:
  • Something to love
  • Something for school
  • Something to wear
  • Something to play with
  • Something for personal hygiene
  • Something special

Borrowed from

This year, we again packed for a girl and a boy about the same age as Misses 2 and 2.5. The presents don't have to be expensive; we set a $20 limit for each box. We chose hand puppets to love, a mini stationary pack for school, t-shirts to wear, kaleidoscopes to play with, toothbrushes with feet for personal hygiene and some special stickers. I'd saved some shoe boxes from earlier in the year and we wrapped these in Christmas wrapping paper before the girls packed the boxes.

We also downloaded the participation certificates for the girls to fill in as a little story about who has packed the box.

Whilst donations to improve communities are probably better ways to help out disadvantaged children, every child deserves to feel special and getting a present brings them a lot of joy. In addition, learning to give is an important lesson for kids. I'm finding that toddlers really love preparing a present for someone else and they were so proud to carry them into the drop off centre and add them to the pile.

The final date for drop off is 25 October, although it's good to get in early as some of the drop off points close early. Start packing now!

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