It is shoebox packing time! Packing Operation Christmas Child boxes is an annual tradition for our family. We are grateful for this opportunity to reach out to children across the world in a tangible way.
Throughout the year I look for good items that are on sale or on clearance. This year I even found some free-after-rebate school supplies! Because we found so many good deals, we were able to pack three shoeboxes this year! Last weekend we made our annual family outing to Wal-Mart to finish shopping for the children who will receive our shoeboxes.
Shoebox gift for a girl age 2-4
We pack school supplies, toys, small clothing items, and toiletries for each child. We give every child a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and washcloth. This year we put Ivory soap in each box. Ivory soap floats, and that makes it the perfect soap to put in a shoebox. If a child drops his soap while bathing in a river, the Ivory soap will float, making it easy for the child to find his soap again.
Shoebox gift for a girl age 5-9
This year we put tote bags in each shoebox. I recently read that many of the children walk a long way to get to a distribution center. Having a bag to put their items in makes it a lot easier to carry everything back home.
Shoebox gift for a boy age 5-9
We also send a card and a picture of our family to each child. We tell the children that we are praying for them. We tell them that they are special and loved, and we tell them about Jesus. We hope that one day we will be able to meet in Heaven the precious recipients of our shoeboxes.
William and Adelaide holding gifts that will soon be travelling across the world!
If you want to participate in Operation Christmas Child, there is still time! National Collection Week is November 17-24, 2014, so you still have a week to do your shopping and packing. Go here to find a drop-off location near you. Here are instructions for how to pack a shoebox. If you print up a tracking label online Operation Christmas Child will even tell you what country your shoeboxes are going to! If you don't have time or energy to shop, you can build a box online.
Do you participate in Operation Christmas Child? What items do you like to pack in shoeboxes?