Do you have a favorite ministry at Christmas time?
One of mine is Operation Christmas Child of Samaritans Purse by Franklin Graham. I remember when I first became a Christian it was one of the first things I signed up for and so much fun as I teamed up with one of our pastor's wives over two decades ago. I loved it then and I still love it just as much now. And if you didn't already know--Operation Christmas Child just hit 25 glorious years of doing this fabulous ministry!
The best thing of all is that I get to share my love for it with all my children now too. I could tell they loved the heart behind it all and being a part of it. They especially loved the idea of packing gifts and toys off to children across the world.
Our church helped to pack 1000+ boxes--and the couple who helped to spearhead it was an elderly sweet couple who had been planning this for months.
They got donations from everywhere, bought clearance items, and bought in bulk to make this day happen. The picture above is a table full of beanie babies that were donated. The had tons of toys like toy cars, chalk, frisbees, water guns, etc.
They had tables out in lines like this and we would go up and down and pack the boxes. Some volunteers did 10 at a time! I brought little Bella with me who is just four and she helped make some boxes too.
This is the table where we include a card, tape a label to the box of whether it is a boy or a girl and their age group, and wrap rubber bands on each end and onto the cart they go to be loaded up. Christian and Joy are in this picture.
In some of the countries these boxes go out to the children are very poor and so they try to include things like toothbrushes, wash clothes, floss, bandaids, shoes, clothes, sewing kits, utensils and cups...
And soap as well (as pictured above), they had several boxes of that. Here is a list of what to include and what to avoid.
Another thing that we were asked to fill the boxes with were school supplies. Each box got a notebook, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, pencil sharper, pens, scissors, and more. Here is an official helpful list of what to add and what not to include.
What I especially love about this ministry is that when they give the boxes to the children they also share the Gospel with them. What a wonderful time to hear about Jesus and His greatest gift to us all!
Now if you think you would love doing something like this you can easily fill a box out at home, print out a label, and just drop it off at a location near you.
The drop off dates at between November 12 through November 19 so there is still time!
It is a great way to teach your children about service and also about giving and not just getting.
You can read more about this wonderful ministry HERE.
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