Are you familiar with Operation Christmas Child? In short, it’s a program where you can fill a shoebox (or shoebox-sized box) with items for a child (you pick gender and age range that you’re packing for), and they are distributed to impoverished children around the world. We’re talking more than 10 MILLION gifts last year alone.
Or, Samaritan’s Purse probably puts it better:
The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child, uses gift-filled shoeboxes to share God’s love in a tangible way with needy children around the world.
Deciding what to pack in the boxes is a lot of fun – the kids love thinking about their mystery child that will receive their package – but is also a little daunting.
In our quest to pack well, I’ve seen a lot of lists of things you can put in your shoebox; I’ve seen a lot of lists of things that are good to put in your shoebox; but today I read an article by a missionary to Senegal that is probably the best I’ve read, because it challenges some of the ideas of things that can go in a shoebox.
For example, I never thought about a stuffed animal being terrifying! And I really appreciate the “culture check” about other games/toys.
The author draws from her own personal experiences in Senegal, but I really think the advice can go a long way for filling any box for any child.