It’s a mission that I knew nothing about until our church promoted it some 15 years ago.
Here’s how it works. You go shopping for small toys, gifts, toiletries, and hard candies to pack in a shoebox. That shoe box then goes to a distribution center where a small book is added that shares the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Then they’re sent around the world to children in need.
The thing I think that has made this a favorite mission for our family, especially our kids, is that it’s easy to grasp the simplicity of it. You’re selecting and packing gifts for a specific age group and gender. You can just imagine the joy your shoebox will bring to a child.
We have our girls each do their own box. They get to shop and pick the items that go in it. In fact, we shop year round and stock up on items we know will make good gifts when we find them on on sale.
Several times when we’ve been out shopping people would overhear us talking about what we were doing and asked us more about it. Other times we have run into other families while they were shoebox shopping at the same time we were. It’s fun to see what they like to pack in theirs.
We like to pay the shipping for the shoeboxes our family prepares online. That way ours can be tracked and we’ll get an email letting us know where they end up. In recent years ours have ended up in India and Zambia.
This is also one of the favorite missions for our church. Last year our church as a whole packed 199 shoe boxes. The goal this year is to top 200! Our youth groups like to help at local shoebox drop off sites. They even went to work in the regional distribution center a few years ago.
If you’ve never packed a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child I would highly recommend doing it.
Do you pack shoeboxes? Leave a comment with your tips and shoebox stories.
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