This week is the national pick-up week for Operation Christmas Child. Our local MOPS group did this as one of our missions for the year. My two boys and I went to our local Dollar Store a few weekends ago to pick out everything for our boxes. This is our second year doing it as a family. We printed off the list from the Samaritan's Purse website of suggested items to pack and the boys had a lot of fun picking out everything. We used plastic shoe boxes with lids this year instead of the cardboard kind. It's amazing how much you can fit into those boxes. This year if you pay your shipping donation online you will receive an email telling what country your box goes to. I am excited about this. My oldest son, especially, is really interested in geography so he is anxious to know where his box ended up. I love this mission because it is a very personal and hands-on way for children to be involved with giving. My little boy wanted to go right to "the other little boy's house" to take him the box. I tried to explain that the other little boy lives too far away for us to do that but assured him that some grown-ups would be sure the box was received by a needy little boy somewhere in the world. Last year and this year we packed 2 boxes, one for each of my boys. And again we chose to send them to boys of similar ages as our own boys. Some year it would be fun (for me at least) to pack a box or two for a little girl since I never get the chance to shop for girly things.
Here is one of our packed boxes.
Here are the unpacked contents of one box. Both boxes contained a similar variety of items, all purchased at our local dollar store. The boxes included: toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, coloring book, crayons, slinky, nerf football, matchbox car, 3 pairs of socks, t-shirt, playdough, pencils, pencil sharpener, Slinky, hand puppet, small stuffed animal, and a ziploc bag filled with lollipops and peppermints.
If you are looking for a great hands-on mission project to do with your children, click over to the links listed above. You can put in your zip code and find the closest drop-off site in your area.