Operation Christmas Child - get involved! [Friday, Oct. 22, 2004, 10:38 am]
I don't usually do this, but I really want to raise awareness for something, and I felt my diary was as good a place to do it as any. The thing I want to talk about is called Operation Christmas Child. What is that, you ask? Well, I'll tell you that, plus how we got started with it.
Basically, this is a non-profit organization run by Franklin Graham, and the aim is to send Christmas presents to children in poverty-stricken countries. And it's accomplished in a very practical and fun way.
What you do, (and what my family used to do every year around this time), is find an old shoe box somewhere. You should have plenty of them in your house, right? Then you cover it with wrapping paper, just so it will look Christmasy, I suppose.
But here's the fun part: You get to fill it with things that children would like, and decide what gender and age group the box is appropriate for. If you wanted to send it to a 6-year-old girl, maybe you'd put in a few dolls, crayons, coloring books, picture books, brush, comb, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. If you were sending it to a 10-year-old boy, maybe some cars, flashlight (with batteries of course - they can't buy them there), soap, washcloth, pens, pencils, paper, etc.
Get the picture? The only things you can't send are war-related items, like toy guns, swords etc. (for obvious reasons), and perishable things, like liquids, chocolate, etc.
But the whole point is, most of the kids that receive these shoe boxes have never received anything for Christmas in their lives before. Most of them don't even know what Christmas is. Most of them don't even know that there are people who care about them.
I got to watch a video about this, and saw many children opening their shoe boxes. It seriously almost made me cry. They were SO happy. You could tell just by the looks on their faces that those little shoe boxes, filled with things that we would call "ordinary", were the most amazing gifts they had ever received.
Now, compared to most of the things that spoiled Americans like us will be getting for Christmas, is it really so hard to mail off a box of simple things that a child living in poverty would enjoy?
I'm really urging you all to get involved in this. Not to just read this and think, "Oh, what a nice ministry," and then walk away and not care. So if you want more info, go to the website, and read about it. It'll tell you what kinds of things to put in the boxes, what not to put in the boxes, and where to mail them to or drop them off.
My family did this alone for several years, until our church got involved with it. Now each year we have a Sunday School class where all we do is wrap and pack boxes. People in our church donate items for several weeks beforehand, and by the time we're done, we usually have at least 20 boxes to send overseas.
Please, get involved with this. It's not a hard thing to do. If you send ONE box, it could still change a child's life forever, believe it or not. So definitely read up on it first - look at the pictures of the children opening thier boxes. Pictures like that will say more than I ever could in a million entries. All I can do is talk about it, but the rest is up to people like you and me.
Thanks, and God bless.
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009