Halloween is over and now it’s my favorite time of the year! Why? Because there are three things I love doing this time of the year:
Things to do this Christmas season:
1. Find a shoebox.
2. Pack with goodies
3. Send to a child somewhere in the world.
Every year I love to participate in Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse! This mission through Samaritan’s Purse sends boxes of goodies and necessities to children anywhere in the world who wouldn’t be able to experience any Christmas without it.
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people worldwide. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
An international relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse is often the first on the scene after a disaster. Assistance is offered worldwide as well as in the United States. During COVID-19 in early 2020, Samaritan’s Purse operated their mobile hospital in New York City’s Central Park, helping over 300 patients with COVID-19 and relieving the burden of neighboring Mount Sinai Hospital. Just recently, Samaritan’s Purse provided a field hospital in Haiti following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on August 14, 2021.
Operation Christmas Child has been a ministry close to my heart since my youngest child was two years old (and he turns 19 this month!). When I was a leader in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), our group would pack dozens of boxes each year. Our family continued the tradition when our boys were in elementary school, filling a shoebox with their choice of items.
Now years later, I’m packing goodie-filled boxes. The Christmas Spirit begins for me as early as August when I stock up on school supplies during back-to-school time. I look for deals on items during the following weeks, stocking my stash to be ready for National Collection Week.
If you’d like to do a shoebox, there are oodles of ideas on my Pinterest Board, or you can refer to this list on the Operation Christmas Child website.
Three things I always make sure my boxes have:
- School supplies: pencils, eraser pencil sharpener, and crayons (and/or markers).
- Toothbrush, bar of soap and a nice soft washcloth
- T-shirt and socks.
For my boxes this year, I am doing color-coordinated boxes in green, blue, and pink, for three little girls. Here is what I put together for the green box.
- T-shirt (Gildan brand from Michaels, on sale 3 for $9.99)
- Sling backpack
- Hair scrunchie
- Water bottle
- Small notepad (for writing or drawing)
- Pencils (wrapped with a ribbon she can use later for her hair)
- Pencil sharpener (a must!!)
- Soft eraser
- Play-doh (at Walmart for 50 cents)
- Little stretch toy (found in party aisle)
- Little doll
This year, I’m adding a handmade card to each box. Since our shoeboxes regularly go to Mexico (since we are in Texas), I will have my hubby help me write a word of encouragement in Spanish and English.
If you choose to fill a shoebox, most items can be purchased at a local dollar store. My items were found at Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Michaels.
When packing a box, it is best to add a couple of toys or stuffed animals on the top, so it is the first thing the child sees when they open it!
There is still time for you to participate! For more information on Operation Christmas Child! Visit How to Pack a Shoebox (samaritanspurse.org). Don’t forget to donate $9 to cover the cost of processing and shipping.
This year’s National Collection Week is November 15-22, and there are drop-off locations everywhere! Unable to pack a shoebox yet still want to help? Build a shoebox online.
5 responses to “How to Participate in Operation Christmas Child — and 14 Ideas for a Little Girl's Box (ages 5-9)”
This would be great to do with Lia! I'm going to check the link out!
oh this is so wonderful.. I am going to ask my daughter to see if she can get together with her troop and/or her cousins to do it as a group…
This sounds like such a wonderful ministry! And it's great to hear about your involvement in it. Nice to see you again, too, for this challenge.
A great project.
What a wonderful idea! Those will be ome happy children.