This year we had the opportunity to participate in Operation Christmas Child for the first time, and it has been a great blessing to all of us!
Children's ministry was a huge part of my life before I became too sick to continue. I really miss teaching and working with children as I used to do. The Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes are just a "small" thing, but it is a way that I can once again impact a child's life and minister to them in Jesus' name. It brings joy to my heart!
The OCC shoeboxes have also been a lot of fun to do together as a family. We decided to do two shoeboxes, one for a boy William's age, and one for a girl Adelaide's age. I had some things at home already that I had gotten either cheaply or free earlier in the year. That was a good starting point, but we wanted those boxes to be completely filled! So we went to Wal-Mart as a family one evening and picked out toys, toothbrushes, and other goodies.
Adelaide with the toys and treats for the little girl, including a handmade hairbow!
William with the toys and other treats for the boy.
There is one very special toy in this boy's shoebox that William paid for himself. While we were at the store, William saw a selection of Schleich animals, and he wanted us to get one to put in the shoebox. We had to stick to a budget with our shoeboxes, though, and a Schleich animal was too expensive. William said, saddened, "But he would really like one of these." William decided that he wanted to buy one with his own money for the boy, and he chose a tiger. You can see it in his right hand in the picture above. This was a great opportunity for William to learn to love and give generously to those in need.
We packed the boxes snugly.
We also slipped in a letter for each child along with a Christmas card with our pictures on it.
The boxes are sitting on our sofa and ready to take to the drop-off location at church tonight!
If you want to participate in Operation Christmas Child, there is still time this year. This is collection week, and all boxes must be turned in by Monday the 19th, which allows for some weekend shopping and packing! If you need ideas for what to pack and not pack, Jessica has some very helpful tips: Dos and Don'ts for Packing an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift. If you want to participate, but don't have the time to go shopping, you can build a box online! For only $30 someone will pack it for you.
Operation Christmas Child has a goal of giving away their 100 millionth shoebox gift this year! It thrills me that they have been able to give away so many gifts over the years, and I'm grateful to be a part of it this year.