Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Operation Christmas Child

A few years back a fellow Guide leader introduced me to Operation Christmas Child which is run by "Samaritan's Purse" in both Australia and New Zealand.

"Operation Christmas Child is a unique project of Samaritan’s Purse that brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes, It provides an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple but hands-on project that has the power to transform children’s lives.

In 2010, our teams in Australia and New Zealand delivered 305,976 gift-filled shoe boxes to South East Asia and the South Pacific. Over 8 million children around the world received shoe boxes last year. Over 130 countries have received shoe boxes since 1993. As each shoe box gift is delivered, it is treasured by the child that receives it, and is a lasting reminder that he or she is precious to God."
Quote taken directly from the Operation Christmas Child website.

Essentially what happens is that you pack a shoe box with items, like pencils, a toy to love, soap, toothbrush, hat, etc., for a child (you choose the sex and age group) and pay $9 towards the freight and it is delivered to them.

Today we started on our shoe boxes. In the past I have only packed one box but now that the girls are getting older I thought they could pack one each. My friend, Crafty K, is now packing five of them, one for each of her kids, so in comparison I have it easy!

Agent Smelly chose a girl aged between 5 - 9 and got wrapping her shoe box with some help from The Mama.

The Fashionista chose a girl aged between 10 -13 and did pretty well wrapping her shoe box all by herself.

I then let them grab some things out of my gift box that I had been putting away for the past few weeks without them knowing.

They have also written up a list of other things that they would like to include in their boxes and so we'll pop into town later in the week to get them. Last year I managed to find some $2 jandals (thongs / flip flops) so fingers crossed I can find some of them again to go in too.

Even though the girls have already spent a couple of hours putting this all together they have really gotten into the spirit of things and are still showing a continued interest.

What I personally really love about this project is not just that you are providing gifts to small children in need but that you can actually follow your box online to it's destination. How cool is that?

So how about instead of spending a fortune on your own children, or nieces or nephews, grandkids, etc you cut down just a wee bit and make up one of these boxes for a child who never gets anything. This could even be something you could do with your own child, (over the school break even), like we are doing here. You will be so glad that you did but, get in quickly as they need to be by the end of October which is national collection month.

Click through here Operation Christmas Child to find out more.  Do let me know if you decide to do one too, I'd love to hear all about your experience.

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