Every year I look forward to Operation Christmas Child. I have been packing shoe boxes for longer than I can remember, and each year it is just so thrilling. To know that such a small box of gifts can bring a smile to a child's face and potentially change their life is incredible. For the past many Christmases, Kevin and I have made a point to have a Shoe Box Shopping Date and we often decide to pack shoeboxes together and forego our gift exchange all together. It is a blessing.
Today is our Shoe Box Shopping Day. We're going to head to Dollar Tree, shop, shop, shop, and enjoy dreaming of the look on that little boy or girl's face when they rip open their box of goodies.
Here are the Top Ten Items I Pack Each Year in My OCC Shoe Boxes
(and here's Samaritan's Purse instructions on how to pack a shoebox.)
1. Toothbrushes and toothpaste. I like to buy the 6 pack of tooth brushes so everyone in the family can have one!
2. Soap bars. Super practical and not on the forbidden liquids list.
3. Hard Candy. Peppermints. Werther's. Lemon Heads. Smarties. Anything that isn't chocolate and isn't perishable.
4. A coloring book or notepad and crayons. I figure markers will dry out and be less useful than crayons.
5. Colored Pencils would also be a fun option. I just make sure to pack a pencil sharpener as well!
6. Bouncy balls or toy cars or something of the sort that would be just plain fun for any boy or girl to play with. I make sure to never include toy guns or army men--anything that would frighten the children or remind them of social unrest in their country.
7. Hairbrushes, Headbands, beautiful bows, and colorful hair ties to give those little girls something to squeal about.
8. A stuffed animal or a small baby doll. Any child, any age will be grateful for something soft and comforting to cuddle with at night.
9. A picture of Kevin and I along with a letter telling the child about ourselves and how we hope they'll love their gift and believe that Jesus loves them.
10. The check to Samaritan's Purse to cover the cost of shipping. Can't forget that!
Does your family participate in Operation Christmas Child? What do you love about this ministry?
I hope you will consider packing a shoe box this Christmas (boxes are due November 14th-20th, though, so don't wait!) Find a DROPOFF Location near you!
linking up with Oh Amanda's Top Ten Tuesday.