Operation Christmas Child

Nothing like a good plug for a great organization. 

Operation Christmas Child is a program sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse. (www.SamaritansPurse.org)  Samaritan’s Purse provides emergency relief programs and offers desperately needed assistance to victims of natural disaster, war, disease, and famine all over the world.  They are also involved in community development and vocational programs in impoverished villages and neighborhoods to help people break the cycle of poverty and give them hope for a better tomorrow.
Their goal is to impact the lives of vulnerable children through educational, feeding, clothing, and shelter programs that let them know they are not forgotten and that they are all God’s children.

Part of their efforts include a yearly “Shoe Box” drive – otherwise known as Operation Christmas Child.  
First of all:  I love Jesus.  I love Christmas.  I love kids.  And…I love PRESENTS! 
This program allows individuals just like me to personally pack a shoe-box full of practical and fun items for impoverished children all over the world.  It is so amazing to know that some child thousands of miles away will be opening a box that my little girls packed for them.  Suggested items for the shoeboxes include hygeine items like soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, brushes, and combs, as well as toys, coloring books, games, and school supplies.  What really hit home with me is the importance of the school supplies.  Many of these poor children live in areas that actually do provide public education, however their parents are so poor that they can’t afford to buy the school supplies the children need to be able to attend school.  In our society it is almost impossible to imaging being so poor that you can’t send your child to school with a pencil and some paper.  So, for many of the areas that Operation Christmas Child serves, this program is not just about giving the kids a present to make them happy.  It’s about education.  It’s about helping build communities.  It’s about breaking the cycle of poverty.

Pretty cool, huh?

Samaritan’s Purse has delivered over 85 MILLION  of these boxes to over 130 countries all over the world. 
For more information (or for a good little cry), check out this amazing video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fk11_tqyMKs&NR=1

 

My girls LOVE to color, and are very much opposed to throwing away any of their masterpieces.  This year we decided to put one of their pictures in each of the nine shoe-boxes we packed.  We also included a photo of them with Santa from last year.  It’s fun to include little personal touches in the boxes so that the child that receives it really understands that it was packed for them by a real person who cares for all the little children of the world.

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