Thursday, November 20, 2014

Give Hope: Operation Christmas Child

The holiday season is upon us folks and I couldn't be happier. While we should practice good will towards our neighbors everyday, we all take things for granted sometimes. But now it's time to take a moment and really appreciate what you have. Not only that, it's time to focus on helping and giving to others. One of the things that I'm most thankful for this year is that Tom and I have been blessed with the spirit in our hearts to participate in Operation Christmas Child...a wonderful organization that improves the lives of well deserving kids. 

The goal of Operation Christmas Child is "to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world". But regardless of your beliefs toward religion, this is just a darn good cause. You choose the gender and the age of a child (ages 2-4, ages 5-9, ages 10-14) that you would like to gift and then prepare your shoebox accordingly. These gifts go to children that otherwise have very little so including hygiene items and school supplies is recommended. But we can't forget that these boxes are going to kids after all, so we add fun items like toys and candy to our boxes as well. 

Doesn't your heart just melt at the expressions of pure joy on these kids faces? 

Tom and I were able to make several shoeboxes this year. With a little research we found out that boys ages 2-4 and 10-14 receive the least amount of boxes. Thus, we decided to give shoeboxes to 2 boys in each of these age categories. Here's what we put in our boxes...

Boys Ages 2-4

  • Composition Notebook 
  • Pencils & Pencil Sharpener 
  • Crayons 
  • 2 Matchbox Cars 
  • 4 Tubs of Playdoh 
  • Erasers
  • Blunt Tip Scissors 
  • Glue Sticks 
  • Hard Candy 
  • 2 Bars of Soap 
  • 2 Wash Clothes 
  • 2 Toothbrushes 
  • 2 tubes Toothpaste 
Note: We sent adult toothpaste for the children because it has a higher fluoride content. Typically, kids need less flouride than adults and in the US children's toothpaste is formulated to contain less fluoride. However, the areas to which these boxes are going do not have a flouridated water supply as we do here. 

Boys Ages 10-14

For the older boys, we created what are known as "career" gifts by including items that may be helpful for their future. I'm especially proud of our creativity here of using a toolbox in the place of a shoe box.

  • Toolbox 
  • Set of Tools: 
    • hammer
    • adjustable wrench
    • pliers
    • adjustable screwdriver
    • screws
    • nails  
  • 2 Wash Clothes 
  • 3 Bars of Soap 
  • 2 Toothbrushes 
  • 2 tubes Toothpaste 
  • Floss
  • Deodorant 
  • Collared Shirt 
  • Composition Notebook 
  • Pencils & Sharpener 
  • Hard Candy
  • Deck of Playing Cards  
All Packed & Ready to Go!

I'm hoping that sharing this might inspire someone to make a box. The deadline isn't until Monday so you still have plenty of time this weekend to make a box of your very own. Check here for a shoebox drop-off location near you.  

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