Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful and extremely impactful hand’s on holiday project in the simplest of terms. It allows each and every one of us that are blessed with life’s fundamental necessities to put together gift filled shoe boxes for under-privileged children living in third-world countries throughout the world. I discovered Samaritan’s Purse – the founders and sponsors of Operation Christmas Child three years ago and annually I organize, contribute and spread the word throughout friends, family and industry professionals to fill up as many gift filled shoe boxes. As a team … the first year we filled up 42 boxes, the second year we filled up 102 boxes and this year … wait for it …. 201.
HOW IT WORKS
Here is a poster I made last year to help promote the cause through my social media outlets. I find it’s been an extremely resourceful visual tool to entice and excite people that may not be familiar with the project or have the slightest clue as to what to put inside the shoe box.
I pick up the boxes from a local church – Surrey Alliance, either in September or October and six weeks prior to Christmas, my best friend and I drop them back off to the church. These boxes are then shipped to their head office in Calgary, Alberta and then distributed to different countries. This year’s distribution list consists of: Uruguay, El Salvador, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea and Ukraine.
My family and I did a total of 12 boxes. We split the boxes, according to age group, gender and I was personally in charge of putting together Disney princess inspired boxes for two girls from the ages of 5-9. I attempted to coordinate everything in the box with Disney branded products and/or the color palettes of pinks and purples. My final touches consisted of putting stickers on the inside of the box and writing a little Christmas card with my best wishes for the holidays.
The drop off day at the church … I get this pit in my stomach which is an indescribable, amazing feeling and complete moment of clarity. We are all well aware that a box of random gifts from the dollar store totaling no more then $30 bucks makes the world of a difference for a child in need. How much of a difference is really what blows my mind… for instance, these kids cut off the tops of the box and stick it over their beds as a poster, they will cut a piece of candy in half, eat one half and savour the other half days later, a simple toy such as a ball that cost $1.50 is everything that they have ever wished for… Pretty unreal right?
We often complain and bicker about the silliest of thing. We are constantly striving, hoping, demanding, wanting and lusting for more; completely being ungrateful for the clothes we have, roof over our heads and food on our tables. Living in such a materialistic and tech savvy world… a cell phone, fast food, a car, shopping, etc are considered basic necessities for us and to someone on the other side of the world a bar of soap from the dollar store means that once in several months they will finally be able to take a decent bath. YES. Unreal. These stories that you hear from the folks at the Church, who have been on the distribution trips are absolutely moving, it puts a lot into clear perspective and ensure you to feel extremely grateful for the current abundance in your life. And now I’m emotional …. ha-ha.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to each and everyone of you that took out the time to put together a gift filled shoe box(es) for a child. Your contribution does not get unnoticed and definitely goes a long way as you are granted the opportunity to put a smile on a childs face on the other side of the world, isn’t that the greatest blessing?! Thank you to all of you once again, until next year…. Xo.
For more information on Operation Xmas Child and Samaritan’s Purse; please visit: http://www.samaritanspurse.ca/