This week, November 11-18, is National Drop Off Week for 2012 Operation Christmas Child. What a great way to spend some time with your family the week before Thanksgiving, focused on giving to children around the world!
The holidays are here and its time to give. With so many choices it can be hard to know where to start. Today I want to talk with you about a family favorite, Samaritan’s Purse. Operation Christmas Child was introduced to me years ago by a friend who used to stuff things in my mailbox about filling up a shoe box with items like toiletries, school supplies and items that children across the world would enjoy. I was perplexed at why this would matter. My church was not involved so I wasn’t exposed and did not know about it. Until I switched churches both in Virginia and now in North Carolina and every year we participate in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.
The great thing about Operation Christmas Child is you don’t have to be part of a specific church community to donate. This week November 14-21 churches all across the country are having their collection events and their combined efforts will ultimately reach 8.5 million children world wide. Certain churches are designated community drop off locations and often have a huge sign outside their doors letting everyone know they can stop by anytime during the collection time. All you need to do is visit Samaritans’ Purse website and there will find easy directions about how to pack your shoe box. This year they even have a snappy little video with Scotty McCreery ~ a hometown boy from right outside Raleigh, NC and American Idol winner. (Yes I know you knew that!)
What I love about Operation Christmas Child as a home organization expert:
a. I already have plenty of the perfect kind of shoe boxes that I know will withstand an international shipment
b. I already have plenty of supplies ~ extra school supplies, extra toiletries, all things I buy with coupons and BOGOS through the year for my own mini stockpile. No I’m not anextreme couponer but I do have plenty of extras.
c. My children always enjoy it. This year in particular I love the possibility of making an online donation where we can get a label that will allow us to track our boxes travels to the other side of the world letting the kids know exactly where their box was delivered.
This is an easy and very tangible way to get your kids in involved in giving. It doesn’t cost you anything that most likely things you already have at home. And most importantly, its centered around children. At a time of year when it confusion can set in about the gimmes, its really easy to keep it in perspective when you talk about kids who greatest joy may be the basics school supplies and toiletries.
If you are looking for a great way to focus on gratitude and giving this Thanksgiving week, start it off by having donated a Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox at a local drop off site near you. The website has drop off locations listed with a simple search and you might be surprised to find your own church is involved. I hope you enjoy this ~ you can pick boy, girl, and different age groups. If you decide to drop off a box on this last day ~ let me know how it goes!
We’ve got lots of holiday tips to help you on the site and hope to see you here often as the season unfolds ~see you next time!