Charity Spotlight: Operation Christmas Child

This Christmas, I’m not buying any presents for my friends or family. I’m not being selfish. Christmas isn’t about shopping or going broke or the absolute necessity of having to get something for someone. My friends and family will still get their Christmas cards, however. That is a part of me, through my writing, that I will always give.

Today I finally finished my Christmas shopping for my 2 Christmas children. The shoeboxes have been packed and they’re now with our church’s Director of Children’s Ministry.

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Every year, about a month before Christmas, Samaritan’s Purse runs an annual project called Operation Christmas Child, which collects shoeboxes with presents for children aged 2-14 from Third World Countries.

To prepare a shoebox, one must determine the gender and age group (2-4; 5-9; 10-14) one would like to prepare for. Then comes the filling:

  • School supplies: pencils, pens, pencil crayons, note pads, pictures books, etc.
  • Toys/Gifts: stuffed animals, small musical instruments, hair clips, toy jewellery, T-shirts, socks, hard individually-wrapped candy* (placed in a bag!), etc.
  • Hygiene items: soap* (in a sealable bag), toothbrush, etc.
  • Personal note: plus a photo if you want!

Don’t forget to include the cash/cheque in an envelope placed inside the box to cover the $7 shipping fee or simply pay the donation fee online.

There are, however, certain items NOT to be included in the shoebox, due to customs regulations:

  • Toothpaste
  • Food and any chewy, crumbly, or soft candy (incl. chewing gum)
  • Used items
  • Playing cards (I don’t know why but other card games such as UNO are allowed)
  • Liquids/items that could leak, melt, freeze or break: i.e. shampoo, creams, lip balm, bath gels, mirrors, glass, etc.
  • Backpack in lieu of a shoe box: we don’t want the other children to be jealous, do we? Not to mention there could be issues with packing a bag with boxes in a carton, as well as Customs.

This week, 19-25 November, is the national collection week in Canada (today is the last day for collection in the States; yesterday was the last day in the UK; Australia‘s was in October). If you are interested in donating some items or preparing a shoebox for a child in need, it’s not too late! You can even pack a shoebox ‘online’ by selecting a gender and age group, with a donation of $37, which includes the $7 shipping fee. The workers/volunteers at Samaritan’s Purse will then prepare the box for you with toys, school stationary and other necessities.

I’m very proud of our church’s school-aged children. Their goal was to prepare 250 boxes and we’ve surpassed it with 300+! Well done! ­čÖé