Operation Christmas Child

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!

OCCBlog2We 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.


Operation Christmas Child — 26 Comments

  1. I have totally done Operation Christmas Child in the past with my girls, too and you just reminded me that it is indeed that time of the year. Love that all the kids got in on this and definitely brought a smile to my face this Monday morning. Way to go!! 🙂

  2. What a wonderful idea. I don’t have small children but perhaps I can round some up. (With permission of course.) I’m going to share this with my clients who have children.

  3. This is such a great idea! And how adorable are your kids?! I used to love going to the mall and getting an angel off the tree. I need to go do that again. I think it’s even electronic now, where you don’t have to fight the crowds to get to the tree!

  4. Such a nice lesson for the kids. You did good on the heavy-duty boxes. I really liked the video clips, especially Abby’s “Yay” on the last one.

  5. “And I’m packing my things …” Classic. Love the genuine reactions you captured here. You’re going to brighten the lives of four children and I hope this inspires others to do the same.
    Abby’s laugh? Totally made my day.

  6. We’ve never done OCC, but we have tried to pick a name off the angel tree at church. I got a little frustrated with that, because the cards were asking for things I couldn’t afford for my own kids, so we had to stop those as well. 🙁 Hopefully, we can try again this year.

  7. We did this with Scarlet a year or two ago, and it was really fantastic to get her into the spirit. This year, we can include Des, although his gift-giving capabilities probably include used tissues and Scarlet’s broken toys!

  8. Y’all are awesome…and your kids are going to be awesome too, because this is just a great way to teach philanthropy to kids. I love how involved you got them with picking out all the items and packing it themselves. Looking forward to checking out Operation Christmas Child!

  9. What a lovely idea…I have been meaning to do something like this. Everytime my kids see a commercial they say “I’m getting that” I feel like they are soooo spoiled. What a great way to teach gratitude. Thanks for the important reminder.

  10. Ah…. I just LOVE that you girls are raising awareness for such an incredible ministry and mission!!! Our AHG (American Heritage Girls) troop used to fill boxes every year- one year we made a record number of over 250 boxes filled!!! I don’t lead the ministry anymore, but I’m certain they continue this service!!

    LOVE seeing your kids involved and I do pray these boxes touch the lives and hearts of many precious children.

  11. sobbing right now…what a beautiful organization and how amazing to teach your kids about helping others. we pick from the church’s tree and buy gifts for kids and parents in shelters.

  12. That is so cute. I love hearing how much thought they put into picking toothbrushes, watches and other items for other children. How gratifying it is to do something good for someone else and it must be even more to see your children enjoy it as much as you!

  13. We love Operation Christmas Child – I think it is always an eye opening thing for my boys that some kids are thrilled with that box as a Christmas gift!!!

  14. I think Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful organization to help needy children during Christmas time. It’s wonderful to hear your children were so enthusiastic and involved. I filled one shoebox this year, my teen son filled another. It felt good to do it knowing we are helping others.

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