Friday, 19 October 2012

operation christmas child

I recently discovered a creative mum's blog called http://lyallii.blogspot.co.nz. Her and her boy are taking part in Operation Christmas Child this October. I'd never heard of the charity before. Although I may not share the same Christian faith as the founders do I think their work is for a really good cause and wanted to get involved (and maybe even encourage others to). I also thought it would be a great way to introduce our kids to the concept of donating to charity, especially since it's to other children. We'll do it every year so I also hope that over time it will help them learn to appreciate their life and the things and people that they have in it- you can try can't you?

Basically you find a shoe box, cover the base and lid with paper, attach the downloadable label to state what age/ gender the gift is for and fill it with (new) gifts, removing the packaging as you go. There's a guide on the web site. Then you include your $9 donation ( to cover costs), take it to a local drop off point and imagine the wee person's happy face when they open it : ). Go on do it, but you've only got the rest of October to.

For more information including drop off points: http://operationchristmaschild.org.nz/  and their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/operationchristmaschild.anz
From the website:

Operation Christmas Child is a unique project of Samaritan’s Purse that brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes, It provides an opportunity for people of all ages to be involved in a simple but hands-on project that has the power to transform children’s lives.

In 2011, our teams in Australia and New Zealand delivered 290,437 gift-filled shoe boxes to South East Asia and the South Pacific. This year the number of shoe boxes given by Australia and New Zealand will reach 3 million! Last year over 8 million children globally received shoe boxes and this season, the number of shoe boxes will reach 100 million given to children in 152 countries since 1993.

Globally, Samaritan’s Purse is working in over 100 counties. The focus of the Australian and New Zealand projects work is to work with partners in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. We have three main areas of focus:
  • Giving children, their families and communities a message of hope, love and joy during the Christmas season through Operation Christmas child.
  • Bringing disaster relief to victims of natural disaster, war, disease and famine. We offer food, water, medical assistance, hygiene items and temporary shelter to give people the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
  • Empowering communities through building school, providing wells, installing water filters, initiating programs that promote nutrition, health and education, improving sanitation to prevent disease and offering vocational training and income generating programs to help people break the cycle of poverty, giving them hope for a better tomorrow.
Filling the shoe boxes was a very interesting process. I talked to the children about kids in the world who don't have much and that what we send them may be all they receive at Christmas. M found it quite hard to put the tube of glitter in the parcel so we had talks around that " you know how much you love glitter?" .. " yeees", " well what if the little girl who gets this box has never seen glitter before, do you think she'll be happy when she finds it?"....pause.....some nodding. After a scout around the craft drawer and present cupboard and a trip to the shops for soap and some bits and bobs here's what we put together:

 boy aged 2-4 box

A cuddly teddy, toothbrush, soap, a box of Playskol Clippo, pencils, felts, a spinning top, car, a Thomas eraser, two wooden pirate figures, some notepads, sellotape, stickers, a mini story book, some glow in the dark dinosaurs, a bouncy ball, a magnifying glass, drinking straws and a wind up yellow chick.

girl aged 5-9

A fairy doll, pencils, coloured pencils and pencil sharpener, soap, a toothbrush, beads and string for jewellery making, sellotape, ribbons, hair ties, headband and clips, a heart peg, stickers, pink glitter, a doll's hairbrush, a book The Velveteen rabbit, a mini teddy, note pads, a fairy bookmark, fairy 'sprinkles', drinking straws and a purple alphabet stencil underneath.

 I love these pictures.


  1. I LOVE this! We will be doing this too!

  2. I donated towards this cause in 2010 if I recall. zeira shoes staff did a personal promotion to fill shoe boxes

  3. Great post :) Thrilled to see the roll on effect keep going. If you are looking for more ideas for filling a box in the future (& use Pinterest) check out: http://pinterest.com/occshoeboxes/