The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
This is the 2nd year that Arabelle has been old enough to choose and get excited about sending a gift to another child. She shops for a child her age and Bo helped choose things for a 10-14 year old boy.
This year, we shopped at Family Dollar, since they have a lot of different items we'd need. Walmart would probably be cheaper, but I didn't want to be running all over a huge store for the different items needed.
There are suggested gift ideas, such as toys, hard candy/gum, school supplies, personal hygiene items, and more. The boxes aren't all that large, so we have to get creative!
Arabelle was so cute while she was shopping. "What color socks does she like? Dora or Princess underwear?" and she kept wanting to choose items that were bigger than the box itself.
She is definitely a giver by nature. She loves to pick things around the house and give us 'presents', so choosing gifts for a little girl was really fun to her.
Bo just wanted to open everything....the toothbrushes, toy cars, candy, etc. :)
Bo tossed everything into the box and tried to cram it shut, while Arabelle worked and worked to get it all to fit. :)
I got Bo's all fit in and Arabelle had hers all in with room to shut it. I was impressed with her packing skills!
Last year I chose to pay the shipping online ($7/box) and print a label so our boxes could be tracked. Our boxes went to Benin, Africa (near Nigeria). I'm excited to see where they go this year!
After our summer mission trip to Haiti, I now understand poverty. Our poorest poor is no comparison (not that we shouldn't help those here in the U.S.!) There's no Walmart or Dollar Tree stores in third world countries and a simple piece of candy is a very special treat. I've seen the look of pure joy on an adult's face when they realized we were leaving the extra supplies with them (crayons, paper, markers, etc.). These are things we think nothing of having.
More important than the items in the box, they hear the Good News of Jesus in their language verbally and through a booklet and they know that someone a world away cares for them and has prayed for them.
Here's an Operation Christmas Child video of distribution day in the Philippines. One box can change a child's life!
For more information and to find a drop-off location near you, visit Samaritan's Purse. Don't forget to pray for the children who will receive your box! :)