Four years ago, we started a family tradition that we will continue for years and years to come -- participating in Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan's Purse. The idea is you choose a gender and an age category and then you fill a shoebox with items for an underprivileged child in another country. Items like school supplies, sanitary items and toys.
Each of our girls pack a box for another young girl their age, and today was the day we bought the items and packed the boxes. Both boxes are almost identical, the only differences being in colors or patterns of things chosen. I had so much fun with my girls shopping for things that could very well be the only presents these kids will get all year round.
Each box consisted of the following:
1 Activity/Coloring book, 1 box of pencil crayons, 1 box of crayons, a handful of pencils, 1 cute little notebook, 1 pencil sharpener, 1 face cloth, 1 bar of soap, 2 toothbrushes, 1 bag of marbles, 1 stuffed toy, 1 slinky, 2 head bands, 3 bracelets, 1 pack of stickers, and a handful of suckers.
I know our girls can't quite fathom the idea that these children who will be receiving these boxes may not get anything else for Christmas other than what we send them. We can tell them, but I don't think they can quite picture it. I want to teach our daughters that there are people out there who are less fortunate than we are and that we can bless them by sending them gifts.
I am proud of my girls for the enthusiasm that they show every year when we do this, and how willing they are to give up the new purchases instead of whining and begging to see if they can keep them for themselves.
(If you are interested in this ministry, please stop by Samaritan's Purse website to get the info you need. I believe it is only Canadian right now, although I could be wrong.)