Operation Christmas Child’s biggest drive

Operation Christmas Child shoebox

Do you want to help needy kids this Christmas? Operation Christmas Child’s national collection week is over, but you can still pack a shoebox for kids for Christmas. They are having their biggest drive this Christmas.  Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is part of Samaritan’s Purse ministry and is an outreach to needy children around the world.

Items you can pack are:

  • toys (stuffed animals, games, yo-yo’s, Etch-a-Sketch, harmonicas, kazoos, toys that light up or make noise with extra batteries, dolls, slinkys, etc.)
  • school supplies (pens, pencils, sharpener, crayons, markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads, coloring books and crayons)
  • hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap, comb, washcloth)
  • other items (hard candy, lollipops, T-shirts, sunglasses, hair ribbons and hair clips, watches).

OCC does have a few item restrictions that you can pack such as chocolates, war items, liquids or lotions. You will need to print out a special label from OCC’s website to mail it, designating whether it is for a girl or a boy. There are several drop-off locations around the country, or you can mail it to OCC’s address.

The shoeboxes aren’t expensive to pack, and there is a donation of only $7 for each shoe box to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can write a check or money order and include it in an envelope inside the shoebox, or you can make a convenient online donation for your box’s shipping cost. When you make an easy payment online, OCC provides a special shipping label with a bar code that can be used for you to follow your box to wherever it goes!

If you don’t have time to pack your own box, you can pay $35 to have OCC’s staff pack a box for you or for $35 you can select gifts on their website to personalize the box and have it shipped to a child. I have wanted to do this all year long, so I wanted to pack my own box! Leah and I went out last night to buy the toys and other things to pack our boxes. Walmart, Target, and dollar stores are great places to find bargains for these shoeboxes.

I’m really excited about OCC’s partnership with the upcoming Narnia movie. Our family loves the Narnia series books and loved the movie and can’t wait for this new one! OCC is partnering with the upcoming film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is set for release on Dec. 10. Through this partnership, Narnia fans will be encouraged to participate in the world’s largest Christmas project by packing shoe box gifts that will make a difference in the lives of needy children.

In Narnia, it was always winter and never Christmas until Aslan arrived with hope. In the same way, shoe box gifts filled with toys, school supplies and hygiene items can bring hope to children around the world by reminding them they are loved and not forgotten. Just as God loves and never forgets you and me!

I encourage you to think about packing a shoebox or donating online to Operation Christmas Child. There is still time to practically demonstrate God’s agape love and to make a difference in the life of a child this Christmas. Below are 2 videos for you. Enjoy!

Video of Leah’s and my shoeboxes

Here is a video of Operation Christmas Child. I just cried when I watched it from the happy faces of the children! This is such a great thing to do that will fill your heart with joy.

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