It was especially neat to see my baby girl stepping outside of her little 4 year-old self-centered bubble for a few minutes. This was probably the first time in her short life that she has really stopped to consider the fact that other kids might not have toys play with or food to eat or a warm bed to sleep in. Watching her come to that realization gave me hope that someday she might not just take it all for granted. Being a parent is tough sometimes, and taking the time to teach our kids how to care about others and become productive members of society seems like an overwhelming task sometimes.
Ten letters is a lot for a little girl who is just learning how to write, but she carefully filled in her name and then colored each and every one. She was so excited when we finally finished and it made me so proud to be her mommy. And now that our ten boxes are all packed up, labeled with trackable barcodes, and ready to go, we can't wait to see where in the world they end up!
We first printed out "About Me"coloring pages from the OCC website.
Princess filled in her name and colored in our state and country, and then I helped her fill out the rest. We also attached 2 pictures to each letter.
We then double-bagged all the candy and unwrapped the soap and put it in plastic bags, per the official instructions.
Our first fully completed box, all ready to go!
After all the boxes were ready, we went online and paid the $7 shipping donation required for each box. We did it online so that we could print out barcodes for each box. This will allow us to track our boxes and find out where in the world they end up!
All packed up, labeled, and ready to go!
If you would like to participate in OCC this year, there is still time (6 days, to be exact) to fill a box (or boxes) & get them to a donation center. Click here to get detailed instructions and find drop-off locations.
If you are struggling with ideas for how to fill your box, I received some tips today from Stacey Wilson, who is one of the Community Relations Managers for Operation Christmas Child:
· School supplies – Many children don’t have the school supplies needed to attend school. Some even have to erase entire lessons by hand so they can have enough paper to complete their assignments. Notebooks, pens and pencils, rulers, erasers, and scissors are great items to pack in your shoe boxes!
· Hygiene items – Toothpaste, toothbrushes, bars of soap, washcloths, brushes, and combs are all items we take for granted – but welcomed by needy children around the world!
· Stuffed animal – Give a special child something soft to hold onto and call their own.
· For older boys, think about including a deflated soccer ball with a pump. This gives a whole group of friends a fun game to play!
· A letter of encouragement – This is one of the most precious items a child receives in the shoe box. A personal note lets that child know he or she is special to the person who sent the gift. Include your address and you may receive a letter of thanks!
· Prayer – The most important item to “pack” in your box. Pray for the child who will receive it – that they will receive hope and joy through the shoe box gift, especially through “the greatest gift of all,” Jesus Christ.
Finally, if you are planning to participate in OCC or any other charity this holiday season, don't forget to leave a comment here, on my original Operation Christmas Child post. On November 23, the day after the boxes are due, I will be randomly picking 3 charitable readers to receive a $15 Starbucks Gift Card. Obviously that's not why we give, but it's always fun to win a little something!