This month, I've been working my way through the alphabet, and today's letter just happens to be G. For Generosity. Also, for the power of a simple Gift. Samaritan's Purse has been delivering shoeboxes full of treats, toys and necessities to children around the world since 1993 as part of the Operation Christmas Child program. This year, they hope to deliver their 100 millionth shoebox! Whoa. That's a lot of generosity!
Together with my family, I started contributing shoebox gifts quite a few years ago, and it continues to be one of my favorite things to do leading up to Thanksgiving. It kinda makes me all emotional and mushy. And while my brothers and sisters might not react the same way, they do love putting together these simple gifts.
We've never been a family where the kids get an allowance, so we put gifts like this together as a family, with financial help mainly from the older "kids" and parents. But money isn't the only way that we give, is it? Really, this is about thinking about someone other than yourself. Something that both kids and grownups need to work on.
So how do the Johansons make that happen? We do it together. All eight of us head to Dollar Tree or the Dollar Spot at Target and we find a bunch of things that fit the suggestions from Samaritan's Purse. (Usually we aim to make one box per person in our family!) Then we spread them out at home and start assembling boxes suited for their recipients. It becomes a mini packing party! And in the midst of the fun, we talk about who might get the box we're making, what they might like most, how much they might need it, or how this might help them to learn about the gift of Jesus. (I'm starting to tear up even as I type this!)
Finally, we pray together. We pray for the boxes, the recipients and the Samaritan's Purse workers. I think this might be the most important part.
This year, I designed a special note that we can add to the boxes we make. It has Christmas greetings in several languages, a place for a photo or drawing, and a place for writing a short word of encouragement.
I thought maybe you might like to use these too, whether for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, or for other things, so you can download it as a PDF with two per page or as a PNG so you can add your photo in Photoshop. (I'm just in there as the example!)
Learn more about Operation Christmas Child, including how and where to build and drop-off your shoebox on their website.
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.