Growing Your Heart: Operation Christmas Child

Have you ever been scrolling through facebook, and something catches your eye?  For me, it’s usually some food porn, or a funny meme, but last week it was something quite different.  Among all the craziness in the world that was bombarding my newsfeed, a sponsored post came through from Operation Christmas Child.  Curious what it was, I clicked on it, and was pleasantly surprised (you should see some of the other sponsored posts that come through).  Operation Christmas Child is a volunteer program that donates goods to children in need in 100 countries and territories all over the world.  I loved the idea of making a difference in a child’s life, so I enlisted my best partner-in-giving, Brooke, and set out to get involved with this great organization.

How to get involved with Operation Christmas Child

Lucky for us, it is super easy to participate.  If you have a shoe box, some items to donate, a little time, and a big heart, then you’re covered for all you need to brighten up a child’s world.  To start off, we gathered our shoe box.  We actually didn’t have one, so we ended up using a Kiwi Crate box.  As long as it is around the same size as a shoe box, you are good to go.  Next we searched around our home for items we could fill the box with.  Suggested items to donate are a “Wow” toy, such as a doll, stuffed animal, or soccer ball and pump, small toys, school supplies, clothes, non-perishable food, and toiletries.  As long as it is new, isn’t breakable, isn’t liquid, or about to expire, pretty much anything you’d think a child would like or need is accepted.  Brooke had received a lego set for her birthday, and being the kind soul that she is, she decided to donate that as her “wow” toy.  We then threw in some Frozen books, a phonics set, and crayons.  We have a bunch of toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap around here since Bret’s brother has a neat job at a company that makes all those goodies, so we added those as well.  We are the people you want to see if you’re in need of some personal hygiene items. 🙂

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To round out the box, we added in some candy, Frozen socks, Princess stickers, and glow sticks.  Once we masterfully figured out the puzzle of making it all fit, we wrapped the box, and closed it on up.  After sealing it, we printed out our tracking label, which will allow us to track our package, and see what part of the world our shoe box ends up in.  Isn’t that super cool?!  We thought so!  We then marked off that our package was for a girl, between the ages of 5-9 (other options are obviously a boy, and ages 2-4, or 10-14).  Since my daughter is 6 years old, most of our items were appropriate for that age range.

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For the last step, we hopped in the car, and dropped it off at a designated drop off station.  Each year they run a National Collection Week in November, where they have hundreds of drop off locations around the US, where you can easily drop off your shoe box(es), and they ship it off to a processing center for you.  It makes it really easy on you by not having to worry about shipping.  If you are reading this, and it is past the National Collection Week, don’t fret.  You can always assemble a shoe box online, through the website, and still join in on making a difference.

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She was camera shy..

Now we just wait to receive the email letting us know where it is being shipped.  I’m giddy just thinking about it.  It is such a nice feeling giving to someone else.  I know we’re going to make a little girl happy somewhere, but it truly is medicine for my own soul.

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