Making Operation Christmas Child Boxes, and our kids’ reactions!
This year, our Pathfinder Club chose to participate in making boxes for the Operation Christmas Child Ministry.
Last week, we came together in what I expected to be a somewhat chaotic excursion as the leaders planned to transport roughly twenty school-aged kids to the store to buy their gifts!
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Dollar Tree, here we come! Look out world!
After each child deliberated over which child to choose, each settled on a boy or girl and a particular age range to make up a box for.
Next came the fun part!
We loaded up the kids, drove down to the Dollar Tree, and turned them loose! Okay, so not exactly loose, but each counselor kept his or her eyes on his/her charges while shepherding the pathfinders, who eagerly scanned the store for possible gifts!
What do you buy for a child you don’t know, when you don’t even know where he or she lives?
This question hardly slowed down the Pathfinder kids! It’s like they each knew what they would like, so choosing for another child was easy!
Little play tea sets, lip balm, small LEGO kits and coloring books turned up in the shopping baskets.
Hair bows, brushed and combs mixed in with school supplies like pencils and sharpeners!
Kids will surprise you!!
I stood back, amazed at how excited these kids were to use their own money to share with others! (Yes, I’m sure some were handed money from their parents, but they still got to experience choosing).
Eyes sparkled! The Pathfinders spoke quietly, and other shoppers looked on curiously at this oddball group of adults and children, who were piling such random items into their baskets.
There was no pandemonium! No horseplay or tomfoolery, even in my group of rambunctious preteen and teen boys! They chose thoughtfully, one boy saying, “I think my baby sister would like this, so I’m buying it for my little girl!”
They chose a mixture of practical and fun gifts. Each Pathfinder realized that with only a shoebox to fill, necessities had to fit first, and play items could fill the spaces. Each bought a toothbrush, socks, and comb or brush, then they could use their own imagination to do the rest.
I made a box too! I could not resist the chance to shop for a little girl, since we have all boys! So I tucked in stickers, hair bands, animal coloring books with colored pencils, a little recorder to blow, a frisbee that did not fit, pretty pencils, erasers, flavored lip balm, and sparkly combs and brushes. Cute socks and a light scarf squished into the corners. A ruler could fit diagonally. Like the kids, I had a ball!
What a blessing to find joy in serving others!
Once finished with the shopping trip, the kids checked out! Again, everything was quiet and well-organized–a testament to the great leadership of this nice group of kids! The clerk who checked me out had tears in her eyes as she commented how blessed the children were going to be who received the boxes. And she is right!
It is more blessed to give than to receive!
We headed back to the church, and then box packing began! What a hoot! We simply bought too much! Friends shared with friends, and with a lot of packing and rearranging, those boxes filled up!
Next we marked several boxes with QR code’s, so that we can follow the journey of some of our boxes. My box got tagged! While we won’t know who receives our boxes, we will know where they travel! What fun! Modern technology has some perks!
We packed up a total of twenty two boxes, to be sent to some unknown-to-us location around the world.
Next, our kids will write notes to include in the boxes, to add the personaltouch. Nestled under the goodies are some Bible tracts written for children.
With a prayer over each box for the child represented, we will mail them off in two weeks! They should arrive in the hands of an underprivileged child by Christmas! We believe these boxes will put a smile on a child’s face, as he/she realize that children around the world were thinking of him or her!
If you would like to learn more about Operation Christmas Child, you may read this book, entitled Operation Christmas Child. You can also check out their website Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child for more details on how to pack a box, where to get boxes, and where to drop them off. The collection date is coming up just six days from today and looks like it goes for about a week.
Kids helping kids–it’s a great plan!
Never fear to stretch your kids behind their normal! By spreading their wings and reaching out in service, they will find greater blessings than they could have imagined!
God bless you as you raise your children for His kingdom!
This project reminded me of this song!