If you are new to Operation Christmas Child, please click HERE to find out everything you need to know about the organization.
Parents: set aside some quality time for your family’s Operation Christmas Child adventure. This guide is designed for use during an evening or weekend afternoon, but could be easily adapted to use over a couple of days. Make this guide your own, and mold it to fit your own family. Have fun!
SET THE STAGE
Before you start: Do your kids already know what Operation Christmas Child is? Explain it to them in your own words. Click HERE to see real stories, photos, and videos of boxes being delivered to kids. The smiling faces will energize your family to join in this project! Sit down with your kids in advance and decide on your strategy: how many shoe boxes you will fill, whether they will be for boys or girls, and the age group. (Easy suggestion: one box per child, matching the gender and age of your children.) Will your kids help pay for the gifts?
MAKE IT MEANINGFUL
God gave, so we give: Look up 1 JOHN 4:19 together and talk with your family about why we give. We give because God gave. We love because he loved us first. His love inside of us is what makes it so fun to give to others.
#shoeboxstories Visit the #shoeboxstories section of the Samaritan’s Purse website HERE and let someone in your family pick one of the stories to read out loud. Each story tells the true account of someone whose life was changed forever because they received a shoebox gift as a child.
Prayer sandwich (part 1): Start your time with prayer that God will help you pack the perfect gift for the child He has chosen to receive it. Without God, it’s just a box of stuff. With God, it’s a tool that can change someone’s life forever. Once you’ve prayed, go collect your items!
SHOPPING & PACKING
Shop: Go to the store(s) of your choice to get the items you need to fill your boxes! Make sure to click HERE to consult the list of suggested items and banned items.
Pack: Pack all your items into OCC boxes or standard-size shoeboxes, and talk about how you think or hope the recipient will use each item.
Make a friend: Find a picture of your family and/or the individual family member who was responsible for packing that box. Compose a short note together. Depending on the age of your own kids, you might write a full page or maybe just one or two sentences!
Follow Your Box: Click HERE to pay for shipping online and print a “Follow Your Box” label.* This allows your family to receive an email in a few months notifying you of the country where your box was sent! (You can pray with your family for that country and your box delivery specifically once you are notified. You might even use this to inspire more family time making a recipe from that country or looking up facts about what life is like there.)
Prayer Sandwich part 2: End your shoebox adventure together by praying over your finished boxes. Pray for their safe delivery across the world, for them to reach just the right person, and for God to use each box to share His love and the gift of Jesus.
Deliver your box to Redeemer’s during the weekends of Oct. 28 & 29, Nov. 4 & 5 or Nov. 11 & 12.
*If you aren't using "Follow Your Box" labels, bring a $9 donation per box (cash, or checks written to Samaritan's Purse) to help cover shipping.