Teaching our children to be compassionate and give back is potentially the greatest gift we will give them. And? Sometimes the hardest to teach. Being grateful and understanding the value of what you have is not easy to understand unless you face having nothing and as parents we work hard so our children have both what they need and far too often more than. That whole ‘wanting our kids to have more than we had thing’ might be backfiring on us all.
Giving back is a common theme in our home. We host charity events, the kids do service hours for school, we talk a lot about those less fortunate and how fortunate we are and how we can make an impact. So, I assumed Colt would be excited when I took him shopping to fill our shoebox of giving.
How wrong I was.
Actually, I was right. He was thrilled to be shopping. He just wasn’t thrilled at the idea of him getting nothing while we shopped. “I really need a new notebook like this too,” Colt said.
“You don’t need a new notebook sweets, you have several at home,” I responded.
The next aisle.
“I picked out a toothbrush for our shoebox and got one for myself too,” Colt said.
“You need to put your toothbrush back please. We already talked about this. Today is not about you it’s about giving to someone else.”
Aisle after aisle the same conversation took place. And aisle after aisle I stuck with the plan. Not a single item (even though it only costs cents as Colt said) was purchased for him.
We got home and he eagerly set out to pack the contents of the box and wrap the lid with so much tape and paper it no longer fits on the box.
Two hours into the process of shopping and packing and thinking about what he was doing, a light bulb finally went off. “Mama I can’t wait for a little boy my age to open this. I wish I could see how happy he is.”
And that is the spirit of giving. Provide constant opportunities for your children to give.
Please take the time this holiday season to help your kids pack a shoebox to give to someone less fortunate. Imagine the face of a delighted little one who would otherwise have nothing opening your gift. Raise a child that is filled with the desire to give. That is the greatest gift of all.
1. Use an empty shoebox (standard size) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but it’s not required.
2. Boy or Girl?
Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. You can download a label online or click the Follow Your Box option to get a special label to learn the destination of your shoe box gift.
3. Pack the box!
Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child such as toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. A list of suggested gift items is available here.
4. Donate $7
Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our Follow Your Box option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in anenvelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoebox, please make one combined donation.
5. Drop Off
Click here to find the closest drop-off location to you and drop off your box during OCC’s National Collection Week, Nov. 12-19, 2012.
You can also send shoe box gifts year-round to:
Operation Christmas Child
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607
If you want to make it simple, go to their website and build a virtual box that will certainly bring the same joy, in which you can pick and choose what kinds of goods go in the box from a virtual store front.
This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.
BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.