Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child is a worldwide organization (run by Samaritan’s Purse) delivering shoebox gifts to children in need all over the world. Each shoebox can be filled with toys, school supplies, hygienic items and more! Betsy Burnett, Operation Christmas Child’s Area Coordinator for Three Rivers, IL, said “The goal is to not only bless a child in need with school supplies, personal care items, small toys and more, but to show God’s love in a tangible way to those hurting.”
PLUS: From October 9-20, CraftPaperScissors is running a contest featuring a prize from Plaid: details here!
To get more information on the organization and how to create your own shoeboxes, we got in touch with Betsy Burnett for a q&a session.
Operation Christmas Child: Meet the #CrazyShoeboxLady
“As a crafter, there are so many things you can make to put into a shoebox. Washcloths, jump ropes, toys, clothing, and more! When you create or make something, I believe you are sharing a part of your heart. What better place to share that part of your heart than with a child in need?” – Betsy Burnett
Can you explain what usually goes into a shoebox and where they end up?
"You start with just a regular ole’ shoebox. Some people wrap them or paint them to look pretty. You then decide if you want to pack for a boy or a girl, and what age group: 2-4 years old, 5-9 years old, or 10-14 years old. Next, you fill that shoebox with gifts: School Supplies (like markers and crayons, pencils, pens and notebooks), Personal Care Items (soap, washcloth, comb, toothbrush) and Small toys (a ball, a jumprope, a doll or car, stuffed animal, and even clothing items like t-shirts, socks, hats).
It’s amazing what you can fit into a shoebox! I will add a personal note to a child just wishing them well and a photo of our family so they know who packed their gift, then add $9 for shipping your box and it’s ready to go! (Please make sure there is nothing liquid, or fragile in your shoebox, and no war-related toys.)
Shoebox gifts are packed by individuals and groups and then brought to a drop-off location during National Collection Week the Third week of November. The drop off locations collect the boxes and bring them to a Collection Center that ships them one of several processing centers. At the processing center, they are prepared for shipment around the world. There are over 150 different countries your shoebox gift can go to."
How to get involved!
To start, readers can check out the Operation Christmas Child website. There they will find shoebox stories, information on how to pack a shoebox gift, tips for what to include IN the shoeboxes, find the nearest drop-off location, have free resources sent to them and more!
Friend Operation Christmas Child on Facebook!