All year long I talk to my boys about the poor kids. I know in this day and age, calling someone "poor" is practically an insult. But there was no other way that I could readily reference children less fortunate than H&R than by saying "poor kids" when I started talking about it with them a few years ago, when R was 2 1/2. I want them to grow up knowing that they are lucky and they are blessed and with such blessing comes the responsibility to share. We save things for the poor kids whenever we have a party or event and there are little toys that can go into the boxes. I challenge them to give things they don't need to children who would appreciate finding those items inside their boxes. What are these boxes?
There is an organization called Samaritan's Purse that ships shoeboxes filled with toys and gifts for Christmas presents for children around the world who desperately need them. I've been doing it with my church for the past ten years, but it has become more meaningful in the past few years when I have been filling shoeboxes with H&R. I have them watch the video with me so they can understand that these children really have nothing. Many of them live in garbage dumps. The year the Haitian earthquake happened, I showed them the video of the kids living in the rubble. They remember the kids who live on the rocks.
If you would like to do something this holiday season that could become a miracle, please consider participating in Operation Christmas Child. You can change the life of one child in a foreign country that otherwise would not have school supplies to go to school that year (it's amazing how valuable a single pencil can be). Your message of hope might save that child from entering a life of crime or prostitution. There are so many stories of young children who were so touched by the fact that someone across the world cares--that it has made all the difference in how they live their lives.
You might wonder why I'm talking about Christmas when it's not even past Halloween. Well, in order for these shoeboxes to get to the children by Christmas, they are collected November 12-19 (find locations here). Which gives you a month to put some boxes together! My boys already know that all of their Halloween candy is going into the shoeboxes. I've heard of some moms who just throw it all out the day after Halloween. If this is you and you live close to me, please let me know and I will pick up that candy and anything else from you to donate to OCC. If you don't live local to me, there is definitely a location close to you where you can donate items, even if you don't want to put together a box yourself.
These are some other items you could put into a box:
If you are a busy ER doctor who can't find the time to pack your own box (you know who you are), you can sponsor someone else's box here. Share in the joy of Operation Christmas Child. From packing your own
box, to spreading the word of how others can get involved, discover the
many ways you can help change a child's life with this incredible
program. Find out more at http://www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.