Are you weary of political talk, political polls, and political speculation? Are you tired of reports of scandalous behavior and FBI investigations? Have any of your Facebook friends threatened to “un-friend” you if you vote for the wrong candidate?
I’m done with this election, and we still have another week to go.
So I’m going to suggest that you ignore the political arena for just a bit and do something that will truly impact someone’s life for good: Go fill a shoebox for a child in need.
Forget about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for just a minute. Forget about yourself, too. Instead think about someone who won’t be getting a Christmas present and forget about our American first-world problems. In short, do something to change the life of a child forever.
In countries all over the world, little children–and their parents–need to know that they are loved. A shoebox filled with gifts of clothing, school supplies, toys, and toiletries communicates that love in a concrete way. But it does more than that, too. It comes with the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the assurance that God loves them no matter where they live, what color their skin, if they have running water, or whether their government is corrupt. That’s why a shoebox is so life-changing; it can have an eternal impact on a child’s life.
Filling a shoebox is simple, and I promise that it will take your mind off our American election woes.
First, find an empty shoebox. You get bonus points if you wrap or decorate your box, but it’s okay if you leave it emblazoned with Saucony or Sperry.
Next, decide if your box will go to a boy or a girl. Choose from 3 age groups, too. If you’re indecisive, pack multiple shoeboxes.
This step is the best part: go shopping and fill your box with thoughtful gifts. Or if you don’t want to leave the house, build your box online.
Don’t forget to label your gift and to enclose $7 for shipping and handling. Find a drop-off site near you, and that’s it.
A few pointers on the gifts:
- Start with a big item like a soccer ball, doll, or stuffed animal. Remember to deflate the ball and include a pump.
- School and art supplies are great.
- Accessorize with socks, mittens, a tee shirt, hair bows, or a flashlight with batteries.
- Add non-liquid hygiene items like a bar of soap, toothbrush, or comb–the same things that your grandmother put in your Christmas stocking.
- Hard candy is a nice gift; melted chocolate is not.
- Fill as much of the box as possible, but don’t include war-related toys, knives, or toy guns. Duh.
The possibilities are endless. You can make something or include a kit if you’re crafty; write a letter if you have a few minutes extra; or even include a family photo. But the best thing you can do is to pray for the child who will receive your box.
Visit Samaritan’s Purse to find drop-off locations in your area. Don’t wait too long though. The national collection week is November 14-21.
P.S. Consider purchasing a tracking label online here. It’s an easy way to pay for shipping, and you get a label that lets you follow your shoebox’s journey. We do this in our home, and we’ve had the excitement of discovering that our shoeboxes have gone to Central America, Africa, and Asia.