Without a doubt, Operation Christmas Child is our children's favorite service project.
It is such a simple, meaningful project for this time of year - and its impacts are ETERNAL.
My daughter, Anna, first started packing boxes when she was in preschool - with her Sunday School class. As the years went on, we packed them as a family, and last year I had the great joy of traveling to Ecuador to deliver boxes.
I was allowed to bring ONE SPECIAL BOX to Ecuador, and that box was lovingly packed by Anna. I can still see Ruby pulling each item out of Anna's box - her specially packed Princess Box - a tiara, boa, sparkly rings and necklaces, and so much more. It was the very first gift Ruby had ever received and this spoke to my Anna's heart.
Now, Anna is the leader of box packing in our home.
This past year she has HOUNDED me each time we are at Target or WalMart - we scour back to school sales, after holiday sales, and dollar spots.
After receiving a change jar for a gift, she decided to collect her spare change to pack ONE BIG BOX, in addition to the other boxes we pack as a family. She has been saving her change for a few months now, and finally cashed it in to go shopping!
What to Pack In An Operation Christmas Child Box
After watching children open boxes it gives you a great idea of what they like and also what they NEED.
When shopping, we always consider three different categories:
- School Supplies
(If you would like more specifics, you can see my 20 favorite items to pack in a shoe box)
Anna also includes a personal note and a picture of herself.
I love these Operation Christmas Child coloring/about me sheets! Have your children pack boxes and include one of these - so sweet and special.
Involving The Kids
Let your children take the lead on packing boxes - this is a GREAT project for any age child!
Here are just a few ideas:
- host a box packing party - let your children design invitations and organize the entire event
- shop and pack boxes with your church youth group
- volunteer at a nearby processing center with children that are 13 and up (we are going Dec. 4 with a group of 17 youth and adults and I'm so excited!)
- encourage your child to save all year to pack ONE SPECIAL box
- watch stories of children that have received boxes - really helps to inspire kids
- pack boxes with your child's class or homeschool group
National Collection Week
Pack your boxes NOW! National Collection Week is next week!
This gives you PLENTY of time to pack at least ONE box, right??
Does your family pack Operation Christmas Child boxes? What are your favorite items to put in a box?