Operation Christmas Child: Info and Tips

Tears were in my oldest daughter’s eyes as she implored me, saying, “Mommy, please just don’t give me as much this Christmas, these kids need things more than I do.” She needn’t have begged, I was all for the idea.

Operation Christmas Child. With the National Collection Week in mid-November, now is the time to start planning your box. My friend Kim had the great idea of adding flip-flops to our boxes this year. But you need to get them bought now at end-of-summer sales!

OCC is a great way to encourage the gift of giving in your children every Christmas. Each year Samaritan’s Purse collects boxes from all over and sends them overseas to boys and girls ages 2-14. You pack your box with a specific age/gender in mind, and label it accordingly. The best thing about these boxes is that Samaritan’s Purse includes in each one a Gospel booklet that’s followed up with a discipleship program. Over 7 million children received these last year.

Wrap your shoebox and lid separately. We choose to buy plastic Rubbermaid containers (shoebox-sized) simply because they can be reused by the recipients. If you’d like, place a photo of your child in the box. We were touched by a shot in the Samaritan Purse magazine showing a young girl kissing the picture of her giver over and over with true thankfulness.

Their website has all the info you need on drop-off locations and gift guidelines. You can even mail your box (es) directly to Samaritan Purse if there’s no drop-off nearby. They ask a $7 donation be included in each box to help cover shipping/handling costs plus printing/distribution costs of the Gospel storybooks.

Three or four years ago, my friend Jana’s family sent us the most special card printed by Samaritan Purse. It informed us that they’d sent an OCC box in honor of our family. What better gift this season, than a gift that keeps on giving?

I’d love it if you’d share your ideas/tips on OCC, or other ways in which your family reaches out during the holidays. It’s my most favorite time of the year…