As mothers, we feel especially called to teaching our children about philanthropy and giving back. We consider our children very fortunate to have more than they need and certainly plenty of what they want.
When we were presented with the opportunity to participate in a campaign to raise awareness for Operation Christmas Child, there was no question we were saying yes. Since 1993 over 100 million children worldwide have received boxes thanks to this amazing organization. We have actually packed boxes in both of our families for many years, so our kids were ready to dive right in and help to do their part!
We decided to use shoebox sized plastic bins instead of actual shoeboxes for the gifts, because they last longer. Once we’d found the perfect size, we got to work filling them up. Each of our children painstakingly picked the items for the child in their age group. (Painstaking is the perfect word here. What we thought would be a 30 minute shopping trip because we already had an extensive list of items ready, turned into a 1 ½ hour shopping extravaganza. Never have you seen children debate the merits of different toothpastes or pencils like our crew. They were intense! You could see their pride as they found the perfect toothbrush or the coziest pair of socks.)
Once we finished shopping and felt certain that nothing good had been left out we let the kids pack their own bins. They were so excited and really had fun admiring their choices!
We talked a lot while we were watching them prepare their boxes about what we were doing and why we were doing it. We talked a lot about the children who would be receiving their gifts and how they might feel when they opened them. It seemed important to really point out the appreciation a child might have for owning a flashlight or wearing a shiny new watch. We decided which small toys might be their favorite and the many uses of a brand new tennis ball. All the kids really seemed to “get” the fact that what they were doing was truly going to make a difference in the life of a child. A child who is just like them.
From our youngest to our oldest, we saw the joy that giving can bring. We saw the pride they felt when there bin was full to the brim. We saw that they truly understand the mission of Operation Christmas Child and why they were lucky to be involved. As mothers, we felt grateful to have been able to share this moment with our children.
This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.
This is a sponsored conversation written by The Dose of Reality on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all ours.