Despite feeling less than chipper, my wane Kidlets joined me yesterday as we took our two Operation Christmas Child boxes to our local drop-off point.
The Parkway Baptist Church is handling the drop-off of small, stuffed boxes all week during the official “National Collection Week” for Operation Christmas Child. With a goal of obtaining 1000 boxes from our community, they are nearly there with 966 boxes.
(Not all the boxes could fit in the frame of this photo … and I couldn’t get both kids smiling at the same time. ’Bout normal around here!)
At least, nine hundred and sixty-six children will be blessed by the people of my new town, my new community. Seeing those boxes, piled carefully one on top of the other, made me cry . . . especially after I watched a “in-house” video the church had made. A local girl, a “Full Circle” teen, told her story of being in a Russian orphanage — sharing a toothbrush with 20 other girls and wearing used underwear in her colorless orphan life — and getting her first “shoebox.” In it, she discovered her first gifts of any kind . . . and was thrilled by a toothbrush and toothpaste. No longer would she have to share. For once, she has something of her own.
How simple. How trivial in our suburban and western world. A toothbrush? My daughter — who has been learning about dental habits in school — was shocked to hear this girl loved her toothbrush. How many times a year do I buy toothbrushes for my children? Over and over and over as I try to get them excited about caring for their teeth.
But to this girl — who had experienced a life of abuse and hate in her young years — that toothbrush was the most amazing item. It was hers. And proof that someone — miles and miles away — cared for her.
Operation Christmas Child is more than just giving a kid a gift. It’s about giving a child hope. Warmth. It’s a chance to let a child know there are bright moments and there is love. And that someone cares for them.
It’s Not Too Late To Get Your Box Packed!
Nationally, next Monday (11/19) is the final day to drop off your Operation Christmas Child box to a location in your area. You can do this!
How To Get Involved with Operation Christmas Child
(1) Get a shoebox (either one of your own that can be wrapped in paper or a sturdy plastic shoebox).
My Tip: We opted for a plastic box so that the child could reuse it.
(2) Choose the gender and age of your recipient (age options are 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14)
My Tip: If you have children in the home, match their age and gender when choosing. They will feel more of a kinship with someone their age and get excited choosing items they themselves would like getting.
(3) Fill the box!
My Tip: this doesn’t have to be expensive! Dollar Stores, Target’s Dollar Spot and other such options provide many toys and practical items that kids enjoy. I also tried to do a mix of “fun” and practical (school supplies, items that could be used in the learning of skill, etc.).
What Went In Our Box?
- Socks (two different sizes)
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste (Target has packs that include stickers for the kids to apply to the toothbrush — my kids LOVED and wanted these!)
- Ponchos and Waterbottles
- Pens and Notepads
- Small Toys
- A Full-Sized Sewing Kit (in our girl box)
- Character Bandaids
- Character Watches
- A handwritten note from us
4) Mail or Find a Drop-Off Location in Your Area
If there isn’t a local drop-off for you, you can ship your box to the following address:
Operation Christmas Child
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607
It’s easy. Fun. And can easily be a personal or family project to experience the “giving side” of generosity. And . . . it may just be the gift that changes someone’s life.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.