Operation Christmas Child

A Christmas tradition our family has loved for years is Operation Christmas Child.

It seems like everyone knows about Operation Christmas Child by now, but in case you don’t:  Basically, you fill a shoebox with toys, personal hygiene items, candy, school supplies, etc. and it’s sent overseas to a poor child in another country.  A gospel booklet is included in the language of the child it will go to (Operation Christmas Child’s founder is Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham).

For years my Sunday School classes would fill boxes, and our family always has done several.  It’s just a really easy and inexpensive way to touch a child’s life.  Here’s our stash this year:

IMG_5664Some tips we’ve learned over the years:

  • You don’t have to go out and buy a lot for the boxes.  As a bargain shopper, I get free toothpaste and toothbrushes throughout the year and keep these in a box for Christmas Child each year.  Additionally, my girls save kids’ meal toys they get; they are perfect for these boxes.
  • A few years ago I was talking with a lady who had worked with Christmas Child to actually deliver some of the boxes.  She said that some of the moms of kids who got the boxes had been so excited to get the plastic storage container, and that they planned to use it for food storage.  Since hearing that, I’ve made most of our boxes from plastic containers rather than shoeboxes.  I buy them for $1 each at Big Lots.
  • The woman I referred to earlier also said that there are far fewer boxes received for older children – so if you’re wondering what would be a good age range to choose, you might want to keep that in mind.
  • Operation Christmas Child has an awesome new feature this year.  Go to the website and pay there (they request a $7 donation per box to go towards shipping), and they will give you a label to print out and put on the box.  It has a code on it which they will scan and email you the location where your box ends up.  I am very excited by this as we have always wondered where ours went.
  • We always include a photo and our address.  One year, we did get a letter and photo from some boys who received our box.  That was really exciting!

Check out the website for more information – the week the boxes are collected locally this year is Nov. 16 – 23, so you have time to do this.  Get your kids involved; they’ll love getting the chance to bless others.

The project is nationwide, so the website should list where you can drop off your boxes in your town.


Merry Christmas!

6 thoughts on “Operation Christmas Child

  1. That is so cool to know that about paying the shipping online and being able to know where your boxes go! I had already written checks, but still have the boxes. I’m definitely going to do that – I would love to know where they go. I had kind of noticed that about the older kid thing, so this year ours are all for older girls. Having two girls myself, I’m never quite sure of what boys will like. 🙂 I’m assuming that the moms of boys feel the same way about the girls and we will come out even.

  2. Operation Christmas Child sounds like a wonderful program. And the inclusion of school and personal hygiene supplies serve as a nice reminder that giving is appropriate year-round!

  3. Well…thank you. I am going to do this one. I love to give and get involved a lot this time of year especially. This one I didn’t know about. So glad you shared it. Can’t wait to get my 7-year old to do this one.

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  4. My WFMW post this time was on Operation Christmas Child, as well. That is a great thing to hear about the plastic containers. I switched to those after my first year, as I figured that it was a gift in itself. So great to hear how useful they are!

    On a side note, I have a friend that went to one of the sites that box and distribute. She said that they did find that some of the cheaper plastic boxes did not hold up, as they shatter when dropped. Just an FYI.

    Quite a stash! Hooray for Operation Christmas Child!

  5. Oh we’d LOVE to know where our boxes go! Thanks for mentioning that! We do this annually–my kids remember getting these boxes in the orphanage in Ukraine. Good tip, too, about using a reusable box. I guess we were thinking of the Orphanage and not of families. That’s very good to know. Very Helpful Post!!!

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