As a Catholic, serving others in need is a underlying current in everything we do. We’re called to represent Jesus in today’s world, caring for the sick and dying and protecting those most vulnerable.
In our world, we have more than enough. My pantry and cabinets are overflowing, my children’s closets are stuffed to the brim, and my family is happy and healthy. I thank God for these blessings each and every day.
Despite the prosperity with which we have been blessed, we can’t forget people in our world who are suffering. It’s a hard concept to teach to my children, because they’ve never seen it.
They’ve never seen me wonder how I’m going to feed them.
They’ve never seen me wonder how I’m going to keep them warm in the winter.
They’ve never seen me worry about a source of clean water for them.
I’ve tried to explain needs versus wants to them, but being so young, it’s a difficult concept to grasp.
The best way that I can get my children involved with helping others is leading by example, with HANDS ON work.
They see me pack up clothes we no longer need, to give to others who are less fortunate. They help me carry the boxes into Goodwill or St Vincent dePaul, being sure to say “Thank you” to the person working the donations drop off. In a few weeks, we’ll be marching in a Veteran’s Day parade and putting flags on veterans’ graves to pay homage to those who have served our country.
It’s important for me to pass on to them that we don’t do these things for recognition or praise, but that it’s what we are called to do as Christians.
Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse International has distributed over 100 million shoeboxes to impoverished children worldwide.
Do you want to give back this holiday season? Want to involve your children in hands on service to others? You can join in and build your own shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.
Don’t miss the Frequently Asked Questions here. National Collection week runs from November 12 to November 19th, so you have plenty of time.
How do you do this? Pray — for your own heart, to give cheerfully. Pray for the child receiving your gift, and pray for Samaritan’s Purse’s mission to give to others in need.
Grab an empty shoe box or small plastic container.
Decide boy or girl. (Rachel decided for me!) Then pick an age range.
Fill it up! Stumped for ideas? Here’s a list of recommended items. My kids are going to donate some of their Halloween candy to a good cause!
Pay $7 to ship your box. You can write a check and enclose it in your box, or give online. We’re going to be using the Follow Your Box option, since Rachel wants to see where her box is going. (she’s already asked me WHO is getting her box!)
Drop off your box. During National Collection Week, you may find drop off locations in your area. (I know Louisville has 4 or 5) You can also send shoe box gifts year round to:
Operation Christmas Child
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607
If you’re pressed for time, no worries. You can choose the Build a Box option, and create a Operation Christmas Child box online in a snap.
You can keep up with Operation Christmas Child on Facebook, follow them on Twitter(don’t forget to look for the hashtag #OCCGiveBack) and on Pinterest.
This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.
BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.