Monday, November 5, 2012

Learning While Giving - Operation Christmas Child

I am so excited to take some time today, and partnering with Blog Frog, to share something that I am very passionate about. It is an organization called Samaritan's Purse and they have a project called Operation Christmas Child that I want to share with you.

The mission of OCC is simple: "The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ"

Isn't that fantastic?!
And what I love about it is, it is a very fun and easy way to teach our children about giving to others. Especially during this pre-Christmas season when our kids are inundated with a barrage of commercials and ads showing all of the latest, greatest toys and what Santa will bring them.

So easily we forget that there are boys and girls out there that go without toys and presents....children that would give anything for a warm meal every day.  My kids have not had to experience that kind of need....and while I am grateful for that, it also encourages me to teach them to be thankful for all we do have and find ways to show compassion towards others. To develop a giving heart in them.

And it starts with a shoebox....

Or a clear tote :)

The idea is simple. Fill a shoebox with fun things like school supplies, toys, hard candies, hats etc....and then Samaritan's Purse takes each of the boxes and ships them around the world where they are distributed to children in need. In addition to everything that you pack in it they also include tracts that have the good news of Jesus (in those countries languages!!) So the Gospel is being shared with each child that receives a box.

I first became aware of this project when we just had Isaac and Gabriel. So we packed 2 shoe boxes that year.  As we have added more kids, we have also added more boxes. And this year we had 4!

The kids love picking out the gifts to fill the boxes and helping organize them!

This year as we packed we realized we had more room available in our totes so we made 2 trips to the store. We want those boxes to be stuffed full!!

 I will admit that it is tough at age 2, to not want to keep the toys for yourself.  We had to keep taking away things from Karlena as we packed. But hopefully as we continue this tradition every year she too will grow to love and understand the reason that we are doing this.

Because it just starts with a box...or a tote. But what happens is our kids see the value in stuffing as much love into those boxes as possible. They hear that these boxes are going to bless a child in a country far away. That the message of Jesus will be heard....and that is what we celebrate at Christmas time.

Such a beautiful, simple program that gives so much more to these kids than the items we fill the boxes with. Because it gives them hope. It shows them that they are loved.

 I want to encourage you to pray about how many boxes you can fill this year. Operation Christmas Child is nearing a milestone  - working to reach 100 Million Children.

Did you catch that?

100 Million Children.

And it starts with me...and with you, and a shoebox. Will you join me in packing a shoebox this year?  I'd love to hear if you have participated in this program before.  What did your kids think and are they excited every year to do it again?

    This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.

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