Marshmallow Mondays

Operation Christmas Child

With the holidays just around the corner, Rydan is very anxious to get a start on his wish book.  He has already been keeping a mental note of things he sees on television or in the Toys R Us flyer that he wants to include on his Christmas list.  As always, his wish list is long, detailed and filled with everything from new Wii and DS games to WWE wrestlers.

This year, I felt as though it was important to make him aware that not all kids are as lucky as he is to have a Wii, a Nintendo DS, warm clothing, food to feed his belly, a comfortable bed, and the many other blessings in his life.

Rather than just talking about it, I wanted Rydan to do something that would make him feel good and realize the impact that he can have on another child who isn’t as fortunate as he is.  So before we begin his wish book, we put a shoebox together for Operation Christmas Child.

In case you aren’t familiar with this organization, simply follow these easy steps to bring some joy to a child in need at Christmas:

1. Use an empty shoe box (standard size).  You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required.

2.  Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.

3.  Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child.  Gift ideas can be found at the botton of this page.

We included crayons, books, pencils, temporary tattoos, sidewalk chalk, a glue stick, addition/subtraction flash cards, dinosaur cards, and a warm hat, just to name a few items.

4.  Donate just $7 for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using the “Follow Your Box Donation” option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box.

5.  Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading the artwork here. Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.

6.  Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop off at the Collection Center nearest you during our collection week, November 14-21Click here to find a Collection Center.

One of the cool things about this project is that you can find out the the destination country of your shoe box.  Here’s how:  By making your donation online using a credit or debit card you will receive a special shoe box label included in your e-mail receipt.  Print this label and affix it to your shoe box.  Your specific barcode is connected to your e-mail address, which allows your shoe box to be tracked. You will receive an e-mail telling you the destination of your gift, along with information about Operation Christmas Child in that country.

Another very cool thing is that your child can fill out a coloring page to include in the shoe box.  The coloring page tells the gift recipient where and who his/her gift came from.  There is space to include your child’s photo, list his/her favorite things, as well as include his/her mailing address for the gift child to mail a thank you card.



Doing this project with Rydan and teaching him about the importance of being a good samaritan really made me feel good too.  I found it truly inspirational to see that at just 7 years old, Rydan was so eager to help another little boy.  He was so proud of his box and is anxious to find out where it ends up.

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