Teach Your Kids To Change the World: Start This Tradition
I know we're all not trying to think about Christmas right now. But I promise, you'll be happy that you read this. I'm going to tell you about one of the most fantastic holiday traditions for your family to start up this year... and NOW is when all the magic starts to happen.
If you haven't heard about Operation Christmas Child, it's about time you do! This incredible, awe-inspiring charity is an annual charity by Samaritan's Purse. You fill a shoebox with small gifts and it is shipped to a child in need. You can send small toys and trinkets, hygiene products, school supplies, and accessories such as socks and hats.
But no matter what small items you send, the smile that you pack in there will be far bigger than the box it comes in.
My girls also include pictures of themselves and notes to the children. In many instances the children may not speak English or may not even be able to read and write but my girls always include their address just in case the child may be able to write back.
This small shoebox goes to an impoverished child who will otherwise receive nothing for Christmas. And even though the gifts are small, it has an astronomic impact on a poverty-stricken child.
The shoeboxes are shipped to needy children all over the world as well as children right here in the United States.
My family has been participating in Operation Christmas Child since Gia, my 10 year old daughter, was 2 years old. I have shouted on the rooftops about this charity to everyone I know ever since. It is an absolutely amazing tradition to start with your children.
It teaches them so much about how important it is to give back to the world, how lucky they are to have warm beds and full bellies, and how caring for other people not only helps those in need but makes us better human beings.
My little girls get so much joy from picking out items for their boxes. You don't have to spend much money to fill up a shoebox. We get most of our shoebox items at the dollar store. We also will find little trinkets at places like Wal-mart or Target too. Target has a dollar section right by the front doors.
If you have kids, you know you can't take them anywhere, I mean anywhere, without them constantly asking for something. It doesn't matter what aisle you're going down, they'll find something they want. I can't tell you how nice it is, for the entire month of October and most of November, that the things my girls ask for are not for themselves but instead are what they want to pack in their shoeboxes to send to 'their kids'. My girls have these children in their minds and in their hearts no matter where we go.
It's wonderful watching them care on such a deep level. They astonish me every year.
I encourage you all to start this incredible tradition in your own home. You will be blown away at how wonderful it makes you feel when you see your children using their hearts.
The heart is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Part of being a parent is showing our babies how to grow their hearts bigger.
Big hearts change the world.
Start packing your own box and ask all your friends and family to help share the holiday goodwill. You'll be surprised how much good a small amount of people can do. Every year I tell my friends and family that I'll come to their homes, pick up their boxes, and drop them off at the collection center for them. Maybe you could do the same?
This is what the holidays are really about and what they are meant to be. It is a time where we cherish who and what we have, share some of the blessings we have been given, and help and comfort those who are in need.
Now is the perfect time to start filling your own shoebox! You have over a month to find all of your small, special gifts. Imagine how it will make a child feel to open up maybe the first gift they've ever been given.
Your child gets to pick if the box will go to a boy or a girl and which age. Your label (which you can download and print here by clicking under "Quick Tools") will let the volunteers know who your box will be going to.
You will be asked to donate $7.00 per box to help cover shipping costs.
If you pay online, your label will have a special barcode that will be tracked and you will receive an email telling you exactly where your box went. The email will also give you information about Operation Christmas Child's efforts in that country.
It's so easy to change the world!
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