» Operation Christmas Child

One of the ways we try to get a proper perspective on Christmas giving is through parish-wide participation in Operation Christmas Child, an arm of Samaritan’s Purse ministry, headed by Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham).

Parish families purchase practical and fun items to fill a shoe box. These are collected on a designated Sunday in November, along with a small check to cover shipping and delivery to needy children throughout the world. This has proven an especially good exercise for families with children at home to undertake together.

Here is the link to Operation Christmas Child. They have some great videos capturing the overflowing joy of children as their shoe boxes are received.

Instructions for putting together a box:

1) Shoebox
Use an empty cardboard or plastic shoebox (average size). You can wrap the
box and lid separately, but wrapping is not required.

2) Boy or Girl
Decide whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the age category:
2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Download and print the appropriate boy/girl label. Mark
the correct age category and tape the label to the top of your box.

3) Fill With Gifts
Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child Gift
Suggested Items
Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as dolls,
toy cars, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls,
toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks,
paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
Non-Liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.
Accessories: t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry,
watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself
or your family. If you include your name and address, the child may be able
to write back.
Do Not Include: Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns,
knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or
lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or
glass containers; aerosol cans.

4) Include $7 Donation Per Box
Help cover shipping and other costs related to delivering your shoeboxes to
children overseas by donating $7 for each gift you prepare. You can give
online to discover the destination of your box. Or, you can write a check to
Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on the memo line) and place it in an envelope
on top of the items inside your shoebox. If you are preparing multiple
gifts, please make one combined donation. Note: Follow Your Box is only
available through online giving.

5) Pray
Ask God to use your gifts to show His love to the child who will receive
your shoebox.

6) Bring your boxes to SFITF by Nov 16th.