Last week was collection week for Operation Christmas Child for Samaritan’s Purse. We’ve been packing shoeboxes for this program for years. It’s something we all love to do. I think it’s important to teach the kids that there are other children around the world whose lives are so different from theirs and that by doing this little thing, we can make such an impact on a child’s life.
I also think it’s important for them to remember that Christmas is about giving and not just receiving. After all, the Bible says in Acts 20:35 “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
So we spent a school day working on our shoeboxes last week. Every year I let the kids each do a shoebox for a girl or boy of their current age. I usually stock up on school supplies during the Back to School deals at Walmart. I also try to look for discounted Halloween candy the week after when they mark it down to add to the shoeboxes. Also, throughout the year I’m always on the lookout for items in the clearance sections at stores to stock up on for shoeboxes. It kind of helps with the expense of packing the boxes, which can get a little expensive when you are doing four of them! Then after we saw how much space we had left in the boxes, we headed to the Dollar Tree to pick out the rest. The kids love to pick out toys and other special items they think the children will like.
Here are some of the items we packed in our shoeboxes:
Some items we always try to include for all the boxes are:
soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, combs/hairbrush, washcloth, kleenex, crayons, markers, colored pencils, pencil sharpener, pencils, ruler, calculator, notebook, erasers, hard candy, flashlight & batteries, silly straws.
For the box Princess packed for a 2-4 year old girl, she picked out a stuffed animal, play doh, bracelets, puzzle, hairbow, stickers, a princess book and a play set of kitchen utensils.
For the box Popstar packed for a 10-14 year old girl, she picked out a sewing kit, a manicure set, stickers, pony tail holders, and a package of craft beads & string.
Flash packed a box for a 10-14 year old boy and he picked out a screwdriver set, gloves, a bouncy ball, electric tape, stickers, deodorant, a spinning top and a wooden peg game.
Hulk’s was for a 5-9 year old boy and he picked out stickers, play doh, a couple of toys like “Silly Shutz” and superheroes, a book, stickers, a spinning top and a ball.
This year we used the red and green boxes that Samaritan’s Purse has, but in the past we’ve bought plastic containers as well. Also, we bought handkerchiefs and put those down in the box first then folded them over everything when we were done. I think it added a nice touch. We also printed out the forms on the website that the kids can fill out about themselves to include. It’s fun for them to be able to tell the child who is getting their box a little bit about who they are and the things they like.
The kids and I had a great time doing this. We paid for our shipping online and now we’ll be excited to get the email saying what country our boxes went to. The kids love that part!
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