Operation Christmas Child was started in 1990. In 1993, Operation Christmas Child grew and was adopted by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization run by Franklin Graham. To date, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed over 100 million shoebox gifts worldwide. In 2013, Canadians donated more than 664,000 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for hurting children around the world.
How it works:
Each shoebox is filled by Canadians with hygiene items, school supplies, toys, and candy, and is given to children regardless of gender, race, or religion. When culturally appropriate, copies of a book entitled The Greatest Gift, which has been translated into 130 different languages, are offered to children after the shoeboxes have already been distributed. Learn more about the journey of a shoebox (PDF).
Here are the steps to get involved and pack a shoebox…….
1. SELECT A SHOEBOX
Use a regular-sized shoe box or shoebox-sized plastic box. If wrapping your shoebox, please wrap the lid separately.
2. BOY OR GIRL?
Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.
3. FILL YOUR SHOEBOX
Fill your shoebox with a well-balanced variety of items from the following categories:
School Supplies – Items such as pens, pencils, pencil crayons, note pads, and picture books
Hygiene Items – Items such as: facecloth, toothbrush, comb, and soap. Please place soap in a sealable bag
Toys & Other Gifts – Items such as: stuffed animals, small musical instruments, hair clips, toy jewelry, t-shirts, socks, and candy (loose, individually wrapped hard candy in a sealable bag)
Personal Note – Include a personal note and/or a photo in your shoebox (not inside the donation envelope)
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.
4. MAKE YOUR MINIMUM $7 DONATION
Please donate a minimum of $7 for each shoebox you prepare to help cover project costs–including shipping. Please make one combined donation for multiple shoeboxes.
Simply make your donation online or place your cheque or cash donation in an envelope inside your shoebox, on top of the items. If you make an online donation, you do not need to include the donation receipt in the shoebox. Tax-deductible receipts will be issued for donations of $15 or more.
5. DROP OFF YOUR SHOEBOXES
Collection Center dates and locations will be available online in early September.
You may also call 1.800.303.1269.
National Collection Week is November 17-23, 2014.
You can also pack shoeboxes online.
We had a lot of fun going to the store and shopping to fill our shoebox. We actually ended up buying more than we could fit into our shoebox, but we still got a lot in there.
Here we are trying to pack the goodies we found into our shoebox……..
Disclosure: MomMomOnTheGo was provided product for the purpose of conducting this review.