Every year we have a tradition for packing a shoebox full of items for a child in the Operation Christmas Child Samaritan’s Purse Program. Here is us packing a box.
What you do is pick one of the gender and age categories and then go out and shop to fill a shoebox. You do not need the red and green Operation Christmas Child box. Any shoebox will work. If you use your own shoebox, I think a nice thing to do is decorate the outside and send some wonderful wishes and messages along with your gift.
If you are like us, we always pick the age category that my Little One packing the box is. I feel that my Little One will likely be successful in knowing and picking what another girl her age would like.
When we shop we usually venture off for a trip to the dollar store. We always end up with more items than we can fit in the box, but I sure maximize that space to get as much as possible in there.
There are a couple of things that you cannot include in the shoebox…
DO NOT INCLUDE:
*Decks of standard playing cards (other card games such as UNO are allowed)
*Food and any chewy, crumbly, or soft candy: Including gum (due to customs regulations)
*Used items (due to customs regulations)
*Toothpaste (due to customs regulations)
*Liquids or items that could leak, melt, freeze, or break – Shampoo, creams, lip balm, bath gels, mirrors, or glass, etc. (these can damage other items in the shoebox).
*Items that can scare or harm a child – War-related toys, knives, and toy guns, etc.
*Using a backpack instead of a shoe box is problematic because it creates unfair circumstances at distribution events. Backpacks can also cause problems when cartons are being packed, and when shipments are going through Customs.
Once you have your box ready, you drop it off at the local drop off center. The list of drop off centers is published every year on the Samaritan’s Purse website.
If you missed packing a box this year and still want to help out there are two options available. You can donate to the program as funds help to cover the costs of shipping the shoeboxes to their destination.
The other option is to pack a shoebox online.
We were out of town and actually missed the deadline for drop off of the shoeboxes, so we are one of the virtual packers this season. With the virtual packing, you still get to choose a couple of the additional items that gets put into the shoebox.
Honestly, the cost of the virtual packing is less expensive than what we spend each year in packing our own box. I do have to say though, that I like the idea and the experience of my Little One physically packing a box.
Here are some kids enjoying all the love sent to them via their shoeboxes….
To find our more about Samaritan’s Purse, make sure to visit them here….