Friday Favorites: Operation Christmas Child

 

Today’s Friday Favorite is something very near and dear to my heart: Operation Christmas Child. If you are not familiar, I encourage you to check out the link above, it is a great, great ministry. Just in a nutshell, OCC is a part of Samaritans purse, a ministry of Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son. Basically how it works, is every November they collect a bunch of shoeboxes packed with toys, hygiene products, etc. for underprivileged girls and boys all over the world.  They deliver said boxes to these kids, and it may be the only gift (especially Christmas gift) they every receive. Here is a short video to help illustrate:

These boxes, while seeming simple to us, give kids in over 100 countries hope for a better day and a brighter future. If you go to the website and click on “videos and multimedia” there are tons of videos with stories of kids who had their lives forever changed all because of a simple gift.

I have participated in Operation Christmas Child since I was in the third grade. Our class at school packed boxes and I still remember going and picking out gifts for a girl my age, and I imagined her getting her shoebox. I always included a letter and picture, but never heard back, although I do know people who have. There is a cool feature now where you can even track your box and see what country it is going to!

Each box also includes a copy of the gospel message in their own language so they can read and understand. Also, if you don’t want to pack a box yourself, there are many other ways you can give, like by sponsoring a shoebox. You can also volunteer during national collection week. All over the world there are churches and Christian schools set up for a week in mid November to collect boxes from all over their area to be shipped to these children and they are always in need of volunteers. If anything at all, please pray for Operation Christmas Child during this season, that lives will be forever changed! So, I encourage you to get involved I know with Christmas coming it’s so easy to get wrapped up in what WE want for Christmas and what WE are getting our friends or family for Christmas, but let’s not forget the children around the world that will be getting nothing, and it will just be another hard day for them. Check out the website for ways in which you can get involved! National collection week is in mid November, there is still plenty of time!

QOTD: Do you do anything special around Christmas time for a charity of ministry?

Comments

  1. We’ve done OCC before! Such a great idea! :)

  2. My high school did something similar. Every summer, they would sponsor a student trip to Mexico to teach VBS and do charitable work in a poverished city. Right before Christmas, my school would ask students to buy and donate toys to be mailed to the children in that city as Christmas gifts. They would even give you the name, age and wishlist for specific children…or you could donate $10 so someone could go shopping for you. It was so much fun imagining how excited the children must get when they open their presents. They really appreciate the little things that we take for granted.

  3. Operation Christmas Child and the Salvation Army Angel tree totally help me hold on to my Christmas spirit. I get tired of people singing Christmas songs in October and people ready to tear each others throats out over whatever it toy of the season it is. Commercial Christmas drives me nut, but participating in OCC and the Angel tree help remind me of the bigger picture.

  4. I love Operation Christmas Child! I remember doing that when I was really young. :)

  5. I’ve done OCC for a number of years, and think it’s a fantastic way tO do something bigger than ourselves for Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Our church takes part in OCC every year, but instead of shoe boxes we use plastic containers that are the same size as shoe boxes. One of the missionairies said that the mothers of the children use the containers to store water, food, etc. So not only do the children receive gifts but the family can still utilize the container long after Christmas.

  7. I’ve never heard of OCC before but I can’t wait to do it. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • its really fun, too! The girls in my Bible study and I used to make a night of it, we would go together to the store (wal mart or the dollar store usually) and buy all the things for our boxes then go to someones house and have a wrapping party and put the boxes together at the same time, it’s really fun! yall should do it at the store one night, that would be fun!

  8. This is a great idea! I was really upset to hear how the Air Force Academy pulled their affiliation with them because of charges of “religious intolerance”. The story is here http://nation.foxnews.com/air-force/2011/11/04/air-force-academy-retreats-christmas-charity or you can google it. What is wrong with some people? They’re just trying to get gifts to children that may not get anything otherwise.

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