Perform an act of kindness this Christmas – Operation Christmas Child

Christmas is a time of togetherness, compassion and sharing, but as the build up to Christmas picks up momentum and I set about buying the boys’ Christmas presents, I realised that a lot of children are in a far less fortunate situation and may not be receiving anything at all. I realised that some children don’t even have the privilege of an education, don’t have warm clothing and don’t own the smallest of items, such as pencils and pens that allow them to gain an education and explore their creativity. So this Christmas, we decided to take part in the Samaritans Purse ‘Operation Christmas Child’ campaign.

Operation Christmas Child 2016

 

I first came across the campaign last year at a baby group held in a local church, but unfortunately it was too late for me to take part. So this year, I made a point of getting the boxes early and set about Christmas shopping.

 

The idea of ‘Operation Christmas Child’ is for people to fill up shoeboxes with various items, include a £3 shipping donation, and then either send them to Samaritans Purse directly, or take them to their local drop off point. These boxes are then checked by Samaritans Purse and sent out to children all over the world who are difficult situations.

 

The boxes are split by gender and then further into three age brackets; 2 – 4 years, 5 – 9 years and 10 – 14 years. You have to attach a label to the front of your box, with your chosen gender and age range noted on it, before taking it to a drop off point or posting it. We decided to send two boxes this year, one for each gender and both in the 2 – 4 years age bracket.

Operation Christmas Child 2016

 

What we packed:

In the boy box we packed:

  • A black scarf
  • A toothbrush
  • Two picture books
  • An exercise book
  • Pens
  • A soft toy
  • A pack of matchbox cars

Operation Christmas Child 2016

Operation Christmas Child 2016

 

In the girl box we packed:

  • A cream scarf
  • A Toothbrush
  • Two picture books
  • An exercise book
  • Pencils
  • A soft toy
  • Felt tip pens

Operation Christmas Child 2016

Operation Christmas Child 2016

 

I decided to include two books, an exercise book, pens and pencils, because although in this age bracket it is unlikely that the children who receive these boxes will be in school, it gives them the opportunity to look at the pictures, read, draw and be creative. They can also keep hold of the pens and pencils for when they are at the age to start school.

 

Soft toys can be such a comfort to children and as these boxes are likely to be given to children who are living in difficult circumstances, I wanted to give them a little something that may be a comfort to them.

 

The scarf and toothbrush are more basic items and although our boxes may end up in a country with a warm climate, you never know if these children will ever find themselves in a cooler place and in need of a scarf or without a toothbrush, so I added them in our boxes as well.

 

You can also add a little note, so we added a Christmas card with seasons greetings from our little family.

 

I felt really emotional taking part in ‘Operation Christmas Child’ because it made me realise just how lucky we are to have access to so many wonderful things we take for granted like; education, basic hygiene and warm clothing. I really hope, wherever our little shoeboxes end up, with whoever they end up with, that those children enjoy them and perhaps, in some small way, it helps them.

 

You can still take part in ‘Operation Christmas Child, with the final drop off day of this year being the 18th of November 2016. For full details see their website.

 

What do you think of ‘Operation Christmas Child’? Will you be taking part this year? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, Instagram or on Facebook. You can also follow me on Pinterest.

7 thoughts

  1. Thank you for posting about this. I keep forgetting about it until I’ve missed the deadline.

    We used to take part when I was in primary school and it’s such a good thing to do.

  2. I got involved this year. I also got a littl emeotional making up the box. I watched a few videos on YouTube and it made me cry seeing how happy they were to receive the boxes. Xx

  3. We did our first shoebox last year and have done it again this year. I managed to get friends and family to take part this year too! I’ve got a total of six boxes to drop off. Lovely items in yours, I’m sure the little ones who receive them will be over the moon xx

    1. The books and stationary were on offer and the toys were really cheap from B&M. It’s such a lovely cause. It’s amazing you got other people to take part too!

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