A simple plastic box is one of my most favorite things about Christmas. Through this clear plastic container, we are able to grant a Christmas wish for an underprivileged child somewhere in the world, and show them the love of Christ. My family has been participating in a program called Operation Christmas Child, sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, for 5 years now, and each year this ministry brings us closer and closer to Christ and the true meaning of Christmas.
The ministry of OCC is to pack a shoebox-sized container with goodies to be shipped off in December to a child in need. We choose to purchase reusable plastic boxes with lids so that the kids can hang onto them year after year for storage.
You have the choice of creating a box for a boy or girl ages 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.
In the past we have packed 3 boxes, all for boys ages 5-9. This year we are going to do 6 boxes, 3 for boys ages 5-9 and 3 for boys ages 10-14. Boys ages 10-14 are the most overlooked group. Included in our boxes for the 5-9 boys are (pictured above):
- a toothbrush and toothpaste
- a t-shirt
- a pair of socks
- a bag of hard candy
- a bouncy ball
- playdough and silly putty
- water squirting fish
- a notebook and crayons
- a coloring/activity book
- a small stuffed dinosaur
- Bible heroes matching game cards
If you would like to participate, here is what you need to do:
- Watch these videos with your family and pray for the process and your ministry before you begin. This will help your child understand why you are doing this and who you are doing this for. It will help him or her feel closer to the process.
- Visit Operation Christmas Child and print a shipping label for the gender and age of your choice. Shipping is $7 per box and when you purchase online, you will receive an email after delivery to let you know where your box ended up. If you do not want to purchase online, you can print out this form and include $7 when you drop off your box.
- Take your child shopping for items to pack in your box. Look for deals but keep in mind that your shoebox is a gift of love and you should be in prayer about the items you choose to purchase. If you feel God calling you to spend $15 or to spend $50 on one box, by all means follow your convictions. As my friend Karin stated, “This is an issue of the heart and this project is about generosity of spirit and faith.”
- Be sure to not include any food items, other than hard candy. Here is a handy list of suggestions, as well as other items you should not include.
- Include a note from your own family or have your child fill out one of these About Me forms.
- Make sure that the items are packed in a way so that the lid still fits on securely.
- Drop off your box at one of the hundreds of collection locations during the week of November 12-19.
- Pray for the child that will receive your box.
As a member of iHomeschool Network’s Samaritan’s Purse Blogger Team, I write about the ministry on a volunteer basis. All posts are my own thoughts and do not necessarily reflect the views of Samaritan’s Purse. I am not on employee, agent, or contractor of Samaritan’s Purse.
*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.