Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Operation Christmas Child -Looking Back and Looking Ahead

For several years, I have wanted to participate in Operation Christmas Child and prepare shoe boxes of gifts for children.  Lack of planning on my part resulted in zero boxes completed until this year.    There are three different age groups for boys and for girls and so I thought it would be fun to do six boxes total.  One for each category.

I had been gathering items since August when quality school supplies are dirt cheap.   Along the way, I also picked up full-size toothpastes, toothbrushes and soap for free.    After speaking with a friend who is heavily involved in Operation Christmas Child and learning that some children never have a toothbrush and others may share one toothbrush between fifteen or more children, I knew I would be putting extras in each box.

Then a few weeks before Thanksgiving, I headed out on a Saturday evening to finish grabbing the other items that would go in the boxes.  I had some thoughts of what I wanted to get, but I also prayed that God would lead me to specific items for each box.    I wanted the boxes to be special and personal for the child receiving it.

That night, I finished packing the shoe boxes (well, actually they were plastic storage boxes I purchased for.74 each at Krogers).   Printed off the mailing labels, signed up to receive a notification of what country our box was sent to and sealed them up to take to the drop-off center.

So far we have received a notice of at least one box going to Zimbabwe and one box going to Mali.   Only God could have made that possible.  I have always had a special place in my heart for Zimbabwe and hope to visit there someday.    My husband has regular interaction with a church that sends hospital supplies to Mali.

I mention this ministry now because it is a great time of year to get toys on sale or other items marked down for clearance.   Their website has a very easy to follow list of instructions and ideas for what can and cannot go in each shoe box.

Personally, I am going to make a list of the items that I plan on putting in next year's boxes so that I can have it with me when I am out shopping.   Some items I may not get until after I have prayed specifically for each child, but other items will be pretty standard for our boxes and I can grab those throughout the year.

Shoe boxes can be filled fairly inexpensively and will bring immeasurable joy to the child who receives it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love Operation Christmas Child. Our family has participated for years. Mom and Dad have visited the main distribution center down south. I am glad to see you used plastic boxes to pack the items because they use them to carry water in!:) Blessings!