Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Operation Christmas Child
If you are looking for a charity to give to this holiday season and not sure where to donate, one to consider is Operation Christmas Child. It is run by Samaritan's Purse, a Christian international relief organization, and they have distributed millions of gift-filled shoeboxes to children in need throughout the world.
You decide whether you would like to donate for a girl or boy, and what age (2-4, 5-9, or 10-14) and you pack a shoebox for each child. You include gifts and toys appropriate to the age and gender (new gifts only), and a $7 donation for each box for shipping and handling. You can also add a photo and personal note if you'd like. If you make the $7 donation online, you can print out a label and will even be able to track where your shoe box ends up. All gifts are tax-deductible.
Collection week is November 16 - 23, so there are 12 days left - there are thousands of drop-off locations across the country, all you need to do is search by your zip code and most likely several will appear within a 10 mile radius. If not, there is a shipping address as well that you can ship your boxes to.
We've been watching videos in church for several weeks now on the impact that this program has had on people around the world and I feel absolutely certain that this program truly touches hurting children's lives, as well as their families, through both the tangible gifts they receive, as well as teaching a message of hope, salvation, and love, which they have not heard before.
Now that I am a parent, I find it almost too much to bear to think of children that are going without food, clothing, living in violence, poverty, etc. This is a simple way that we can positively impact a child's life, in a potentially life-changing way. Although Ella is too little this year to understand it, I hope that in future years she will enjoy shopping for and picking out gifts for the children who will receive our shoeboxes. I am planning on this being a holiday tradition for many years to come.
Some links for more information:
About Operation Christmas Child - http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/
Shoebox packing guidelines - http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/Pack_A_Shoe_Box/
I hope you'll consider packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child!