Simple Service: Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

Service Project: Pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

Prep time: none

Cost: $20-30

Duration: 1 hour

Lesson(s) learned: We can help give Christmas to someone in need

How we did it:

Samaritan's Purse is a Christian international relief organization that gives humanitarian aid. For Christmas, they collect boxes of Christmas gifts for kids around the world in need. 

Their website lists six steps to build a box:

  1. Find a shoebox
    1. We didn't have any at home, but found a box about the right size when we asked in the back of the store
  2. Choose whether it's a girl or boy and the kid's age
    1. Ruby and I talked about how she'll be getting presents for Christmas but that not everyone gets presents for Christmas. (WARNING that this brought about a confusing/premature talk about Santa that I wasn't quite prepared for - so just be prepared if you do this with your 4 year old). After we talked about it, I let Ruby choose who she wanted it to be for. She chose a 4 year old girl just like her.
  3. Fill with gifts
    1. Samaritan's Purse suggests choosing one big gift and then some little ones. Ruby picked out a stuffed animal/blanket combination as the big gift and then we got some other trinkets to add in: socks, a toothbrush, a washcloth puppet, and a notebook. Our whole family worked on cards and notes to include in the package.
  4. Pray for the child
    1. Ruby was excited to say a prayer for the little girl and said a very heartfelt little prayer.
  5. Get a tracking label
    1. The website gives directions on how to track your package to find out where it ends up.
  6. Drop off
    1. November 16-23 is the official drop off week. Drop off spots are located all over the country and are easy to find on their online map.

I liked this project because it allows you to choose the specific age and gender  and write notes to that kid. It made it so real to my four year old. She could easily imagine a four year old girl who would want those presents that she picked out. 

Make your own before November 16th-23rd! Find the details here: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/pack-a-shoe-box/#