Not being much of a charitable giving spokesperson, my views were widened recently at a MOP's meeting I attended. We were told about a project called Operation Christmas Child and I have to say I fell pretty hard.
It's hard to imagine living in a place where things like soap and toothpaste are a luxury.
Where personal belongings are nil.
A place where it's easy to believe no one cares about you.
Operation Christmas Child aims to change that... one shoebox of Christmas goodies for one needy child at a time.
I'm a gift-y sort of person, so this project appeals to me in many ways.
It starts with a list of possible contents for your gift... things like small toys, little clothing items, school supplies, travel-size hygiene products. Easy, inexpensive things, many of which you may already have hanging-out in your cupboard.
Then there's a fun work-sheet for your kids to fill out to be included in the box. It tells about their favorite things, colors, foods, etc. My kids loved answering the questions and discussing the recipients of the boxes and how excited they were sure to be when they got their box. They got really into helping me choose the things to donate for the cause.
I loved how giving they were. I learn so much from my kids.
If you choose, you can also donate some money to help with shipping the boxes (they go to countries all over the world).
Or a quick trip down the clearance and/or dollar isles can get you everything you need.
Wondering what to do with all that left-over Halloween candy?
The day Our MOP's group packed the boxes was awesome.
We sorted our contributions into categorized bins (school supplies, art supplies, socks, etc), each of us grabbed a shoe-box, decided whether it was a girl or boy box, and went "shopping", filling our box with items from each category. We laughed and chattered as we worked, thinking constantly of how much fun some child, somewhere, was going to have opening our gifts. It was a joyful way to spend a morning.
Giving truly does feel better than getting!
Then we topped it off by listening to Kayla tell us about her own adventure in adoption... her visit to orphanages in Romania... her personal-eye witness report that the children there really do look like all those horrible pictures you see on charity ads... her confirmation that her own son had recieved a box from Operation Christmas Child before he left his orphanage and came home to her and her husband.
Amazing how a first-hand account makes a difference in one's view.
One thought Kayle shared really touched me. She quoted the verse (Matt 25:40) that says, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." And she said, "Find out what that means for you... who the 'least of these' are to you... and do for them what you know to be right."
So find your least-of-these.
Whether that's a neighbor, a friend, a widow, or an orphan.
You'll love the joy it brings... both for them and for you.
I just got the news that over one hundred boxes were sent out from our town through this project. I'll go to bed tonight thinking of one hundred innocent, smiling faces.
Joy in Giving in NE