Thursday, November 17, 2011

Changing Lives, One Shoebox at a Time

Emily was ready to fill her box!!
This is collection week for Operation Christmas Child.  For the first time, our family is joining efforts with Samaritan's Purse to help change the life of a child.  Brien and I are involved with local charities and do fund raising events each year, including the 65 Roses Bike Tour, Susan G Komen Race For the Cure, and we are involved in other charities benefiting overseas children including World Vision and Holt International.  Our kids are always a part of these charitable events and they are aware that we have "adopted" children through Holt and World Vision.  We often talk about their "brother and sisters" that live in another country.  I feel that it is very important for us as a family to give back God's blessings.  I love to work with local missions because you can see the results here at home.  But, there are many needs to be met beyond our borders as well.  For this reason, our family decided to participate in the Operation Christmas Child this year. 

We chose to fill 5 shoe boxes this year, one for each member of our family.  The great thing about this project is that we can choose if we want to pack a box for a boy or a girl.  Once we choose the gender, we can choose a specific age group; 2-4 years old, 5-9 years old, or 10-14 years old.  The kids of course all chose to fill a box in their gender and age.  Brien and I chose to do our gender in the 10-14 age category. 

As a family last night, with our boxes in hand, we ventured out to fill them with goodies!  The girls headed in one direction and the boys headed in another.  Emily added a doll, stickers, an elephant stuffed animal, and much much more!  We had a hard time fitting all of her things in the box.  She was very excited about packing up her box.  She also included a letter and picture of herself so that the little girl that gets her box will know exactly where it came from and who packed it with lots of love straight from her little heart.

Shelby had a more difficult time than Emily did packing her box.  She is 8 (almost 9) years old and she is at the age where she isn't a "little" girl anymore.  She wanted to pack perfume, fingernail polish, and the likes in the box but upon reading the instructions we discovered that we couldn't pack those sort of things.  She did find some very cute sunglasses, a feather headband, and other accessories that she thought would be a great idea.  She packed a notebook, pencils, flashlight, and some crayons in hopes that the child that receives her box will be able to write back to her.
Shelby finding the right shade of lip gloss!! 

 Tyler of course filled his with your typical boy things.  He found a football that changes color with body heat, some tennis balls (since baseballs were out of season and we couldn't find any), toy cars, crayons, pencils, notebooks, and a cool pair of sunglasses. 

All of our boxes also included a pocket bible, pictures of the kiddos and a personalized letter with our address.  We will pray over the boxes before we take them to the drop off point so that the children who receive these boxes will also receive a blessing with the items inside. 

I am posting about this project because I feel very strongly about giving back.  It is something that we urge our children to do.  I believe that Jesus taught us to love one another so it is out of love that we pack these shoe boxes, we walk 3 miles, serve cookies and Gatorade to cyclists, and send monthly contributions to orphans overseas.  My prayer is that if you are reading this post, then you have most likely been blessed this year because you either have internet, or access to internet, lights, phone, water, heat, etc.  I would urge you to give back these blessings you have received. 

Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured to you."

2 comments, add yours here:

Desert Songbird said...

Our church supports an orphanage in Central America, and we've "filled a box" many, many times. My kids always loved doing this.

Moody Mom said...

This is so sweet. Bear does Angel Tree every year. This year she picked out a little boy and a little girl!