Spreading Love & Hope in a Shoe Box

How would you like to spread love and hope in a shoe box this Christmas?

Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful project that gives the average person (like you and me) the opportunity to sow seeds of love and hope in the form of a shoe box. This fabulous ministry outreach of Samaritan’s Purse has been a part of our family since my husband and I married in June of 2000. I grew up poor, not having much of anything. For much of my childhood we faced months at a time with no electricity, no telephone, and often times – no food. But still, I knew that there were others who had it way worse than I did. And because of this, it taught me at a very young age this simple rule: Be grateful.

What I love so much about this outreach is the simple fact that by purchasing gifts for young children – you are helping spread love and the hope of Jesus Christ in the form of a tiny box! A shoe box at that! It blesses my heart to know that these selfless acts of kindness from people like you and I – open up the doors for missionaries to go and give the hope of salvation to a lost and dying world. In addition to the BEST gift – the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ – these children will be receiving necessities and fun items they would never otherwise be able to have. Pure awesomeness – all the way!

This year our family is contributing 10 boxes for this outreach. We are so happy that our children are growing up knowing that life is NOT all about them. Yes, we teach them how special and unique each one of them is – but on the same note, we teach them that EVERYONE is special and unique. Through the OCC project it helps remind our children that everyone deserves to be blessed simply because of God’s grace and goodness. Below is what one of our boxes “looks” like. This one is for a boy age 2-4.

I am honored to be on the iHomeschool Network’s Samaritan’s Purse blogging team for the 2012-2013 season. Because of this great partnership, it gave me the idea to organize a local Operation Christmas Child drive in Germany. Our small local homeschool group, made up of a community of military and civilian contracted Americans, together are taking the challenge to teach our children to bless others this holiday season.

If you are not familiar with this outreach and are interested in being a part of it, here is what you need to know about packing a shoe box:

1. Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.

2. Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading the artwork (here). Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.

3. Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child. Use the gift ideas provided on the bottom of this page.

4. Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our “Follow Your Box Donation” option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.

5. Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop it off at the collection center nearest you during our collection week, November 12-19, 2012.

6. You can find the nearest drop off location by entering your address and zipcode here.

What should you pack? Here is a list of things that Operation Christmas Child suggests:

You can find out more information about the project by clicking on the link below:
Operation Christmas Child

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