Our students have shown a lot of enthusiasm and excitement for our Operation Christmas Child service project! We want to remind you that the deadline to turn in the shoebox gifts is next Thursday, November 16, as part of National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child. Kindergarten-8th grade parents are invited to join us that morning for a special combined chapel service from 9-10 a.m. in our school gym. We will learn more about this ministry and how our shoebox gifts will be sent to countries all over the world.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has distributed over 124 million shoebox gifts to children in over 110 different countries. Each child that receives a gift also receives a Gospel booklet in their native language and the opportunity to participate in a follow-up discipleship program called The Greatest Journey. Last year, our Southwest students gave 354 shoebox gifts to this ministry and helped to share the Gospel in 10 different countries! The students have set a goal this year of 350 shoebox gifts! Please help us reach that goal! For more information on Operation Christmas Child, you can visit www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.
As part of our recent chapel services, we have shared ideas with students of items that are great to include in their shoeboxes and also the items that cannot be sent. You can find this information listed in the brochure that was given to your child and also on the Operation Christmas Child website, but there is an abbreviated list below that can help when you’re packing your shoeboxes. Remember – small items are the key because everything has to be able to fit in your shoebox! Stores like Dollar Tree, Deals, Target and Walmart have everything you need for your shoebox gifts!
We thank you for your generosity and willingness to participate in this service project! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mrs. Wilson at (502) 447-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great items for shoeboxes
- School supplies such as crayons, markers, pens, regular pencils and colored pencils (remember to include a pencil sharpener), blank drawing pads, coloring books, child-size scissors
- Small stuffed animals or small baby dolls
- Clothing items such tshirts, socks, sunglasses, flip-flips, hats (colorful items are best)
- Bracelets, headbands, hair bows and necklaces are great for little girls
- Toothbrush (it helps to include a toothbrush case or cover)
- Wash cloth and bar soap (no liquid soap, body wash, shower gel). Make sure that your bar soap is also sealed in a Ziploc bag.
- Small toys such as a slinky, harmonica, jump rope, finger puppets, picture books, small puzzles, cars and trucks, tennis ball, bouncy ball and a deflated soccer ball with air pump included
- Small flashlight with extra batteries
- Small water bottle or drinking cup
- Have your child write a letter and include a photo of themselves. This is always one of the most treasured items that the child receives. Many of them have never received any type of gift at all, so this is incredibly special.
Items to avoid
- Sidewalk chalk because in many of the countries where shoeboxes are sent, children live in villages with no paved roads. Chalk doesn’t work on a dirt road.
- Play-Doh as tables and clean, flat surfaces aren’t always available and Play-Doh doesn’t do well on dirt.
Items that CANNOT be sent
- New this year – no candy of any kind and no toothpaste (due to customs regulations)
- Liquids of any kind such as shampoo, hand sanitizer, nail polish, lotion, liquid soap, bubbles
- Food and drinks
- Medications or vitamins
- Anything glass or breakable, so no hand mirrors, glass containers, porcelain dolls
- Aerosol cans, so no hair spray or silly string
- Snow globes or other toys with liquid in them
- Used or broken toys and items
- War related toys such as toy guns, knives, soldiers
- Remove items from their packages as this will save space in your shoebox and cut down on the amount of trash that has to be disposed of in poor countries that do not have waste/trash facilities.
- A good rule of thumb that has always helped me when trying to select items for my shoebox gifts – if your grandma doesn’t understand it, don’t send it.
Pray for the child that will receive your gift! Your shoebox gift will go on a very long journey from Louisville, Kentucky to reach its intended destination so pray for the transportation logistics, for the missionaries and church leaders in each country that will be distributing the gifts and for each child to be receptive to the Gospel booklet that they will receive with their gift. These gifts can be life-changing and have an eternal impact! We appreciate your generosity and your support!