Operation Christmas Child

This is our 2nd year participating in this awesome ministry, and I want to start off my post with this beautiful video from Samaritan's Purse.  Every time I watch it, it brings tears to my face, happy ones! Feeling so blessed that we're able to put smiles on the faces of these children. 

As I mentioned in my first post about Operation Christmas Child.  I have been collecting freebies (from hotels, conferences and festivals), and purchasing items on sales, clearance, and with coupons for this year's shoe boxes.  

I also ordered through Vistaprint  this cute card that I made to include in the shoe boxes. (They were free! I just paid shipping!) 
Samaritan's Purse has this awesome form that children can personalize and add to the shoe boxes. So, we included this About Me form that my son colored himself. I added his picture, filled in the blanks for him and in the back I included our family picture. Since we have 15 boxes I had him color 2 sheets, and then I made 15 color copies to include in the shoe boxes. You can download this form here.

Last year little one helped pack the shoe boxes with things that I had purchased. However, I wanted to teach him the importance of giving to those less fortunate, and have him fully involved in selecting toys for another child. So we set off to shop, and I told him that we weren't shopping for him, and that we were going to fill shoe boxes for poor children. So before going into the store (he's going to pack two shoe boxes ages 2-4) this was our conversation:

Me:  "Do you know what we're doing here?"
Little one:  "Yes, Mommy. We're going to buy gifts for other children."
Me:  "What children?" 
Little one: "For the children that don't have toys, because there mommies and daddies can't get it for them." 
Me:  "True.  OK,  baby. Do you want to buy for boys only or for a boy and a girl?" 
Little one:  "Mommy, I want to buy for one girl, and for one boy!"  

He starts looking around, and picks the toys, some candy, markers, and some other things. Off we go to the cashier, and he wants to pay all by himself so I give him the money.  Sweet!  

This past weekend little one was ready to pack the shoe boxes with his Daddy. He packed shoe boxes for one boy and one girl ages 2-4. He was so proud and excited! Though, we still need to decorate and wrap  some of the shoe boxes before the drop-off date, but at least they are all finished.  


After months of planning, preparing, and praying we have finally tallied up our shoe boxes: 15 in total! What a blessing!  It has been a joy seeing these empty shoe boxes come together. 15 shoe boxes, 15 lives for ever changed! The shoe boxes and the contents of what we packed can be found here

We can't wait for National Collection Week!  We will be joined by my mommy friends, and their children. I'm looking forward to seeing the kids go in and drop-off their shoe boxes! Not only are they making a difference, they are also learning a valuable life lesson: "learning to give to others that are less fortunate."

Make a difference in a child's life, pack a shoe box!  It's still not too late to participate in Operation Christmas Child!  If you have an empty shoe box, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, hard candy, and some small toys you can probably pack one! For more ideas and suggestions on how to pack a shoe box go here. National Collection Week is during November. You can check for the drop-off locations here.

While you're here take a look at: 

Simple beaded friendship bracelets for OCC recipients. 
A $10 challenge for the OCC shoe box.
Crafts made by children for children for the OCC shoe box. 
Thank you letter sent to us from a recipient! 
Need more ideas, or inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board:

Follow Frances's board Operation Christmas Child & Shoe Box Ideas on Pinterest.

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