Give the Gift of Love … in a Shoebox!

Wednesday November 16, 2011

It’s collection week for Operation Christmas Child (OCC)!

If you’re not familiar with this program, it is an outreach of Samaritans Purse, a Christian relief and evangelism organization led by Franklin Graham.

The goal of OCC is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is done by packing a shoebox full of goodies and useful items. These boxes are collected at various drop-off locations and are then shipped and distributed abroad.

I’ve enjoyed doing this program with my children since they were preschoolers — it’s a tangible and easy way for them to share God’s love with someone else. We usually go to Target or a dollar store and fill up a box with items that our kids select.

When packing a box, you decide what gender and age range to pack for (Boy or Girl, ages 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14). OCC has guidelines about and suggestions about what to pack, things like toys, school supplies, toiletries, and hard candies.

OCC also requests a $7 donation to help cover the cost of shipping the items. If you pre-pay through the EZ Give page on their website, you get a label with a barcode to print and attach to your box. This allows OCC to track your package and send you an email telling what country your box went to.

This post is a reminder to me that we need to get our box done this week. I hope you will consider sending a box too!

Update:   The drop-off location search form doesn’t appear to be returning any locations.  However, I know that Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington and Calvary Road Baptist Church in Alexandria/Franconia are both accepting boxes through Sunday (the 20th) — probably other places too that I’m not aware of.

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