It’s that time of the year. Shoe box time.
When we arrived (almost on time) at church yesterday, I noticed a familiar sight in the foyer. On a table sat two shoe boxes overflowing with school supplies, toys, candy, and personal hygiene items. Operation Christmas Child brochures, stickers, and prayer cards surrounded the boxes. I made a mental note that I needed to go through my pantry, round up empty shoe boxes, and make a shopping list when we returned home.
After lunch, the girls and I pulled out the stockpile that we had amassed over the past year: markers, colored pencils, and crayons bought during the back-to-school summer sales; a 6-pack of socks found on clearance; a tiny Beanie Baby bear, two elastic bracelets, several notepads, and a mini Etch-a-Sketch all stashed and forgotten at some point earlier this year.
We pulled out 4 empty shoe boxes, hunted for 2 more, and then got to work separating, filling, and evenly distributing our stash. Then we made a shopping list: wrapped candy, Hot Wheels for the 2 boys’ boxes, 6 tubes of toothpaste, and 6 bars of wrapped soap.
After a quick trip to Target, we finished our packing. How easy was that? We like to wrap our shoe boxes, but that task remains for a later date–mostly because the 4 of us don’t wrap boxes very well together. (I’m just being honest here.)
If you still have no idea why we filled up 6 shoe boxes yesterday, watch this video below. Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, the international relief outreach headed by Franklin Graham. (It gets a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.)
See how simple that is? If you have kids–or if the voices of Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber don’t make you cringe–watch this how-to video. Don’t forget to attach your label and include the $7 shipping fee. Or you can follow your box around the world by paying online and downloading a special tracking label.
I think I packed my first box more than 10 years ago. Now we routinely pack 6 boxes each year. (That’s one box for each of our children.) In past years, our boxes have reached Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Ukraine, and Zambia. What an amazing way to share the love of Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas with children all over the world. I can’t think of a better way to spend $7.
National Collection Week is November 18-25, so that gives you about 2-3 weeks to pack your boxes. So go pack one or two…or even more. What’s stopping you?