It's Time. Please Do This.

Every year, I write a post like this asking you to make a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse. It seems each year the need is greater, but this year especially. This is not a sponsored post and I receive no remuneration for doing this, but I do it because I believe in this cause.

In the years since Operation Christmas Child began, Samaritan’s Purse has given 209 million children shoeboxes in over 170 countries. Each shoebox carries the message of God’s love.

Children are also invited to attend a study called The Greatest Journey sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse partners as a follow up to receiving their boxes.

I mentioned a few years back that a woman attending my collegiate alma mater had been adopted as a child from an orphanage in another country. In that orphanage, the only gift she received each year was the shoebox through Operation Christmas Child. Her favorite thing in the box was not the toy but the toothbrush, because in her facility many children lined up to share one toothbrush every evening. She was delighted to have her own for the first time ever.

These boxes are important and have lasting effects. The woman above in gratitude for Operation Christmas Child organized her own drive for boxes in her college community.

This year collection week is November 13-20 and those drop off locations are listed on the Samaritan’s Purse site which I will link to at the end of this post.

This year, my sister and I again packed twenty-five boxes. I tell you not to brag about us, because that number is small compared to a friend of mine who has packed as many as 160 a year. I tell you because I shop all year for deals on school supplies, toys, and hygiene items so that I can make more boxes. Consider doing that as well and increase your boxes each year.

I’m including pictures below of a boy box and a girl box as examples of items you can include in your box. We include a soccer ball (air deflated from it) and pump in the bigger boy boxes, because that gift can wind up being one for a whole village. And I heard from someone who had traveled with Samaritan’s purse to deliver these boxes, that you must include a metal car for the boys. That’s one of their favorites.

When you pack the box, pray for the child who will receive it, and imagine the joy on their faces when they remove that lid.

If you’re stretched for time, you can donate, and Operation Christmas Child will pack the box for you. But take a moment right now and make the choice to click on over to the Operation Christmas Child site and investigate the opportunities. You’ll be very glad you did.

“Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40 Message).

I have a story in another Christmas Anthology, Celebrating Christmas, from Grace Publishing. No author receives royalties, but they are donated to Samaritan’s Purse. So, here’s another way to support this cause. Many thanks.