Every year, my church participates in Operation Christmas Child by filling shoeboxes with toys and gifts for the less fortunate children in other countries. Our hope is to spread the holiday joy with these shoeboxes as well as share the Greatest Gift of All: the Gospel.
I was unsure if I should take part in the program this year because I don’t agree with some of the gift suggestions provided by the organizers. Many of the gift suggestions either promoted gender stereotypes or weren’t practical for impoverished kids. After some debating with myself, I decided it was better to participate than to silently protest the small issues.
I packed the shoebox with a boy between the age of 5 and 9 in mind. This age group should be old enough to appreciate a gift, but not too old to be extremely picky about what they receive. This would allow me to focus more on items for their everyday needs (school supplies, toiletries, etc) and less on toys.
After going through the donated gifts we received, here is the list of items I packed:
- Paracord bracelet
- Hair comb
- School supplies (pen/pencils, crayon, pencil sharpener, eraser, sticky notes, scissors)
- T-shirt from our church camp program
- Toiletries (toothbrush, bar soap, nail clipper)
- Toys (doll, Avengers puzzle, jump rope, bouncy ball)
I took some time to pray for the boy’s well-being and enjoyment of the present. I hope that this shoebox would impact the boy in a positive way and that he’ll see God’s love reflected through the gifts.
And there it is: all packed, stacked, and ready to go! The shoebox will be dropped off at a designated site within the next few days for shipping to its final destination.