I went to check my emails and was reminded that the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes are going to be collected starting next week. . . the 17th through the 24th. They usually collect them right before Thanksgiving each year. You can find out all the information you need at:
There are labels to download, links to find collection spots near you, ideas about what to put in, videos to watch, pictures to go through, online shoebox choices, donation options, and more.
I went to see the most recent video... without the volume on the first time through. It was a group of kids having a planning meeting, I think...
I really love to see the delivery videos...try to find them, if you can. It is so precious to see them delivered to places we can never reach.
Children are so happy to receive these boxes. It is a big event. No one knows what is in their box. I wonder if the people in charge make sure that the right kids get the right boxes, especially if someone actually puts a pair of shoes in it. :-) Everyone gets different gifts when the boxes come from different sources. They can compare their gifts...probably trade when they want to... and hopefully help each other figure out the ones they have never seen before.
When you watch one of the delivery videos, you become aware of the language issues. How would we know what to do if we received something that had instructions in a foreign language. Without photos, it is really hard. Sometimes the photos don't help.
This is my favorite charity. It can run into the $20-$30 range, depending on the toys you choose, where you get them, and what the delivery donation is. This is a lot of money for me... sometimes I am only able to donate the $7 per box delivery donation. Lately, I can't even do that. When GOD allows, I will begin to make boxes and donate them again. Maybe you can donate one for me.
Other charities have copied this format for their own programs. One church I know of collects shoeboxes for Mission residents. As a former Mission resident, it is always good to receive anything, and people think your are ungrateful if you don't like what they give you, but I think it would be better to provide homeless people with gift card sets from fast-food places like McDonald's, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy's, Arby's, Jack in the Box, and local gathering places. Many have to wander when they are forced out of missions... they can't prepare food... they need shelter from the weather and rest from the burdens of surviving homelessness. If they are job hunting, the need is even more critical.
Phone cards given directly to the resident are sometimes very important, but with cell phones that has changed. Know your resident, pick one out to care for, see what they need, and make sure it is OK with the Mission program. Some things that are received end up in the trash, given away, sold, or possible confiscated by the Mission staff.
The point I am trying to make is that a gift is for the person, not the agency. It needs to be special, for them, something they need, something that will be used by them.
I once gave something precious to me to a friend because I didn't know she already had it. I learned in that experience that we have to give with the right heart, to not give things that matter to us a lot. Once given, our offering belongs to them, they can do what they want with it. I think it is better to give wisely and then leave it to GOD. He is the one that does the accounting in our finances.
I hope you will go to the Shoebox website and check it out. I really love the opportunities it give me and the child that will eventually receive the things I choose.