A simple shoe box, it seems so lifeless to me. Something I would discard into the growing pile of Amazon boxes in the garage. Maybe my toddler would fill it with mismatch puzzle pieces. The baby would for sure sit in it and giggle with delight.
A simple box. Nothing fancy.
However, for some it can be everything. It can be hope, love, and comfort.
Hope, we all hope for the future. For countless children around the world they hold no hope in their hearts. Many of these children have lost all of their family, they have lost everything. They don’t have that comfort in their life. They don’t have those basic items we use every day without a second thought!
So, once a year we pack those simple shoe boxes with those three things: Hope, love, and comfort!
I have talked countless times about how important it is for me to teach my children to give back. This is a great way for two toddlers to help other children a world away.
Operation Christmas Child is a ministry that travels the world handing out these boxes of hope and providing ministry in an extremely rural area of the world, hit by poverty. After the local children listen to a short message about Gods word they are given a surprise gift, for many the first gift they have ever received.
I have read the testimonies of older children, who now work for Operation Christmas Child. They share tails of receiving their first bar of soap that they did not need to share with a family member, or their own spoon and they will no longer need to share one with their siblings! The joys of receiving school supplies so they can now attend school, since to be able to attend school you must have your own pencil and paper. I remember how one girl shared that she had never had her own full size note book before. Her father would buy one every year and would have to cut it in half because they could not afford one for her and her sister. She was over joyed her full size note book!
These are real children; real lives will be changing by packing a simple box with items you already have around your home!
What to Pack:
A WOW item- a small toy or ball that the child will see the minute they open the box.
School Supplies: Pencil, note book, and crayons
Personal Items: Tooth brush, wash cloth, and a bar of soap. We also like to include a bowl, cup and silver wear since most children don’t have their own.
Craft Item: We like to include some beads, string, and a small coloring book.
A personal Note: The kids make cards and I write a little message about how we made this box special for you! We were thinking about you when we bought the items and we packed it with love.
These are just simple items, most of them you can find around your home. Items that we often overlook. However, these items can offer these kids the world. Please take a few moments this holiday season to pack your own Operation Christmas Child Shoebox. There are drop off sites in almost every community! You can find more information here!
*The Dollar store is a great spot to pick up WOW items. You can get a stuffed animal or dress up clothes for only a dollar each.
*We buy things year-round. When school supplies go on clearance we stock up! Also, when Target’s Dollar spot has clearance you can get stuff for $.10-.30 each!
*Ikea has the best cups and bowls and silverware. I got a pack of five for under $3!
*Make sure you put your tooth brush (and your soap) in zip lock bags. These kids don’t really have anything to keep these items in to keep them clean.
*They always are in great need of Young children boxes (ages 2-5) and teenage boxes! These are harder groups to shop for and they don’t receive as many of them. Which mean these kids don’t always get boxes!!
Here is what we backed this year in our boxes!
A water proof tote bag
A backpack (I score these for a $1 each at Walmart this fall)
Bowl, cup, spoon and fork
Stamps with ink
T-shirt (again from Walmart for a few bucks!)
A light up ball
Girl Box Example:
Water proof tote
Bowl, cup, spoon and fork
Stamps with ink
Light up ball