For some years now our family has supported Operation Christmas Child, I can’t say for sure how long it is but as a young teen I remember bringing our packed shoe boxes into church to be sent off. Mum has continued to pack shoe boxes over the years and now it’s something we want Hannah to do each year in the run up to Christmas.
We donate through Operation Christmas Child, OCC is an initiative of Samaritan’s Purse UK, a Christian relief and development charity working amongst communities in need across Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
This is such an easy way to give, £20 well spent will fill a shoe box with lots of goodies which can have such a big impact on a child. This simple gift is changing the lives of children all over the world. It is also a stark reminder that we have so much to be thankful for and a great way of making our children aware of how little other boys and girls in the world have.
Hannah and I went shopping this week to fill her shoebox with goodies. Boxes are filled for either a boy or girl with age categories 2-4 years, 5-9 years and 10-14 years. Below are some ideas to get you started but you can find out more information here.
We were lucky enough to get an OCC shoebox from church but you can also wrap a medium shoe box, wrapping the box and lid separately. Below is a list of some gift suggestions and photos of what we purchased this year. I opted to go for the age category 2-4 years and fill our box for a little girl as this is the category that is nearest to Hannah’s age range.
Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls or stuffed toys (with CE label), toy trucks, harmonica, yo-yo, skipping rope, ball, small puzzles etc.
Pens, pencils & sharpeners, crayons or felt pens, stamps & ink pad sets, writing pads or notebooks & paper, solar calculators, colouring & picture books etc.
Toothbrush and toothpaste, bars of wrapped soap, comb or hairbrush, flannel.
Hat, cap, gloves or scarf, sunglasses, hair accessories, jewellery set, wind up torch, wrapped sweets (best-before-date must be at least March of the following year).
Once you have your box filled go online to make your shipping donation of £3 and print off and attach the appropriate boy/girl label to the top of your box. By paying online you will receive an email in the new year notifying you which country your box has gone to. You can also include a photo and a short note for the child that will receive your box. You can find your local collection point here to drop off your gift.
We purchased all our items from Poundland, Home Bargains and Tesco, if you spend wisely you will get quite a bit for your money. Hannah was reluctant to give up Pooh Bear but he got lots of kisses and cuddles while we were out shopping!
Be quick! Filled shoe boxes must be dropped off at collection points by 18th November!
Also PRAY for the child who will receive your gift.
Join in the fun on social media by tagging @OCCUK and using the hashtag #ipackshoeboxes
As always, thanks for reading.