Samaritan’s Purse, have you ever heard of it? Not many people have, although they support its efforts to help less fortunate children at Christmas.
Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian relief and development organization. They derive their mission from the bible, but essentially act as a good samaritan. They have provided aid for those who are victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. They continue their relief as situations warrant their help. One of their annual efforts is to ease the despair of children is Operation Christmas Child.
This event takes so little from the individuals who decide to participate, but gives back SO much more. Vic would honestly give until we were broke – no joke! And it’s hard not to get caught up in all of the organizations and people looking for your help. How do you choose?! Normally we don’t. We would rather give a little to many than a lot to one. You may not agree, but it’s what works for us. Operation Christmas Child has been something we wanted to do for the past few years. In the beginning we were given mixed information when we couldn’t locate the actual boxes they were distributing. So with heads hung we would say we’d try again next year. Well last year we struck gold it would seem. I was attending Christmas at the Glacier (a huge craft with numerous vendors who sell beautiful items – great for those of you who love to support local!) and came across a table with . . . you’ve guessed it . . . boxes!! But not only boxes, a wealth of information. Arms loaded I returned to my car – I may not have purchased any crafty things, but my day was made by little red and green shoe boxes!
For those of you who are curious or may have also been given mixed information, you do not need the ‘official’ boxes. If you can’t get to a pickup location, they simply recommend you use an average size shoe box. This is to keep the sizes relatively the same so the children receive equal. There is also a list provided on their website that helps guide you in what to fill the boxes with as certain things won’t keep in travel, political issues etc.
If you would love to participate, but are thinking of the financial aspect, go check out Pinterest. Search ‘Operation Christmas Child Box Ideas’ and you will see TONS of ideas. Believe it or not, a lot of people do these with freebies and their finished product is pretty awesome! It isn’t about the money going into these boxes, it’s about the effort and desire to make a small child realize they have someone out there who is thinking of them. They also accept donations of any items you may have as they need to ensure the contents of each box before it travels and they use extra items for those boxes who may not be quite full. An alternative if you’re looking for a way to participate without adding a burden to your already heavy holiday bills.
Last year was my first year, I made several (scattered) trips to Dollarama – they have SO many things you can include, even things in larger packages to use for multiple boxes such as individually wrapped soaps and face clothes. I also took advantage of Staples huge back to school sale on Regatta Day. Although St. John’s is shut down for the civic holiday, Mount Pearl is open and launches their biggest sale for the back to school sale. And when I say huge sale, I DO mean h-u-g-e! Dozens of items for under $1. Costing just a few coins.
So go take a look at their website
And then try Google and Pinterest. You will be amazed at what you can do for so little. We sacrificed (first world problems here) one supper out and filled 8 boxes. Thanks to great sales and long term planning, we’re aiming for many more this year – why not start with 1?