So there's apparently a holiday going on today.
I'm not a fan. From my Twitter and Facebook conversations, I know many of you are also not fans.
Side note - I'm a fun mom, and I let my kids have their Halloween fun, but I stay out of it as much as possible. Too much candy, too much scary, too many spiders.
I'm just not a fan.
I love Christmas.
I love Christmas with a giant puffy red heart.
I love the spirit of Christmas, of kindness, of giving, of loving, of hope and goodwill.
Children all over the world miss out on the spirit of Christmas. Either because they live in poverty or because they're orphans or for some other reason, they have little hope. They have little evidence of God's love for them.
Imagine the impact of a shoebox brimming with treasures on a needy boy or girl in bleak circumstances.
Treasures from heaven, my friend. God's love wrapped up in pretty paper.
That's the point.
You can send shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child any time of the year. They're delivered year round. But of course, the big push is during the holiday season, when so many Americans are doing warm and fuzzy holiday shopping.
What do you put in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox?
Grace and I assembled two Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes this year, and we made a little video showing all the neat stuff we put inside.
What else can you put in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox?
- A letter and a photo of your family
- An About Me page from your kids
- Painted rocks
- Craft kits
- T-shirts, underwear, and socks
- Shoes like canvas sneakers or flip flops
- Personal care items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, hair brush, soap, a washcloth, band-aids, lip balm or lip gloss, and nail file
- Candy - as long as it's not chocolate
- Dolls and stuffed animals
- Hair accessories - ponytail holders, clips, barrettes, and ribbons
- Small puzzles - we found some of these at the Dollar Tree store
- Musical instruments - harmonica, tambourine, maracas, and whistles
- Small toys like jump ropes, jacks, slinky, toy cars and trucks, and Etch-A-Sketch
- Balls - whiffle balls, bouncy balls, tennis balls, table tennis balls, and inflatable beach balls
- Small books
- A flashlight with batteries
- Plastic or costume jewelry - necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, and sunglasses
- School supplies - pencils with erasers and a sharpener, pens, scissors, a ruler, crayons, a coloring book, chalk and a chalkboard, a solar calculator, and a notepad
- Silly Bands
- Items with logos - like reusable shopping bags and beach balls from the fair
- Unopened Happy Meal toys
- Notepads and things to write with - think logos again - hotels, restaurants, doctor's offices
- Stuff from the party supply aisle - party favors
- Stuff from Target's and Walmart's dollar bins
This year, Operation Christmas Child's National Collection Week is November 12-19. During this time, you can drop your filled shoebox (box and lid wrapped separately and then wrapped with a rubber band to keep it secure) at drop off stations around the country. If there isn't one near you (or it's inconvenient), you can always mail the box directly to Samaritan's Purse in North Carolina.
I've written about Operation Christmas Child before. My last post has links to suggestions on packing your shoeboxes, doing it without a lot of expense, and other general OCC resources.
Operation Christmas Child and influencer marketing platform BlogFrog have teamed up with 200 bloggers like me to spread the word about this great cause.
BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are assembled. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!
This post is part of a BlogFrog campaign for Operation Christmas Child, but it is a non-profit project. I'm not being paid.