Operations Christmas Child involves gifting shoeboxes filled with hygiene items, school supplies, toys, and candy to children in need. You have 2 options when it comes to packing a shoebox: you can either pack it yourself and bring it to a collection center, or you can build a shoebox online. For each box that you pack, a minimum donation of $7 is required to help cover project costs, including shipping, and this payment can be made either online, or you can leave your cheque or cash donation in an envelope inside your shoebox, on top of the items. When donating this amount online, you will receive a label which you can print and stick on your shoebox, allowing you to track it and see where it is headed in the world!
National Collection Week is November 18-25, 2013, so it isn't too late if you would also like to donate to this great cause! :) This year, shoeboxes will be distributed in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uruguay, and Venezuela. For most children who will be receiving a shoebox, this will be their first time to ever receive a gift.
I got my sister on board, and we dedicated an afternoon to buy things to fill our boxes, We had such a fun time roaming the aisles and deciding what to include in each of our boxes! My sister decided to gift her box to a little girl and I will be gifting mine to a little boy, both between the ages of 5-9 (the other age groups to choose from are 2-4 or 10-14). The website also offers gift ideas as well as restrictions (for example, we cannot send toothpaste and liquids due to custom regulations). We will also be writing a personal Christmas card to each child and include a photo of ourselves (the children apparently love receiving pictures!). For full details on how to pack a shoebox, you can click here.
Here are a few pictures of the boxes we prepared. We decided to use plastic containers the size of a shoebox instead of a cardboard box, which is also permitted, since the children will be able to reuse them! :)
|We bought flute recorders, teddy bears, and other toys (such as cars, action figures and foam balls), toothbrushes, hair brushes, crayons, pens, pencils, notebooks, erasers, sharpeners, soap bars, socks, candy and more! :)|
|Little boy's box :) (donated by me)|
|Little girl's box :) (donated by my sister)|