Operation Christmas Child. A mum at school had mentioned she and her son were going to do one and when I looked into it, I really liked the idea too. The charity, Samaritan's Purse, deliver gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children around the world.
As we approach the festive season, I think this is a really nice way to involve children in the act of giving. My two had a lot of fun packing their shoeboxes and thinking about what a little boy or girl might like to receive or find useful. We began by packing one shoebox but when it came to deciding on whether it should be for a boy or girl (as Samaritan's Purse ask you to decide), we could not agree! My daughter wanted it to be for a girl, my son wanted it to be for a boy so daddy suggested we do two, one for each.
There are lots of useful suggestions of what to pack inside your box on the Samaritan's Purse website. We included a combination of some fun stuff and some practical items and my children also both drew a picture and my son wrote a little note on his to include inside. It was really nice to see my children excitedly running around finding things and coming up with ideas of what we could include in the boxes.
You are asked to send a minimum £3 donation per box to cover shipping costs for your box and if you donate online, you can follow your box and find out which country it gets delivered to. We are going to donate that way, as my son really wants to know where the boxes will go.
Once you have packed your box, you need to drop it off at one of the collection points near to you. The deadline is 18 November, so those of you in the UK reading this who are interested in making up a box should just about have time! If you miss the deadline however, you can still create a shoebox online, and have items purchased and packed for you.
For those of you in the US, you can do it too! Have a look at the details and deadlines on their website.
Have you done something like this with your children in the past or do you have other types of activities you involve your children in, to encourage the spirit of giving to those less fortunate?