A few weeks ago I participated in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing party at church. We got to hear the story of a full circle Christmas Child. This young lady' was in an orphanage in Russia... colorless, crammed together, rampant lice and the accompanying head shavings, sharing toothbrushes, bed linen never changed. Heart breaking. She said that one day some of the children started talking about shoeboxes. Not even knowing what a shoebox was because she had never had a new pair of shoes, she asked them what it was. The children told her about receiving their very own toys and candy in a shoebox at Christmas time. She started to look forward to the day she might receive a shoebox.
On Christmas Day, she sat with three hundred children waiting for hours as they were called one by one to get their box. When she opened it up she couldn't believe her eyes! There was her OWN toothbrush/paste, lots of candy, a colorful slinky, and other gifts. She said that it meant so much to have that boxful of gifts. At the age of ten she was adopted and brought to the United States. Today she speaks for Operation Christmas Child events and encourages people to get involved by packing a shoebox for children just like her.
At the end of her presentation, there wasn't a dry eye in the place!
My family has been packing shoeboxes every year for years. The boys and I worked on our Operation Christmas Child boxes last weekend. They boys were so fun to watch hunting through Walmart for things to fill their boxes, which were of course for boys. They were like kids in a candy store... duct tape, notebooks, pens, CANDY, balls, cars, playdough, flashlights, gum, harmonica. I had just as much fun shopping for my girl box - hairbrush, headbands, chapstick, a pink shirt, colorful pens, gum. These were just a few of the things we included in our boxes.
I want to encourage you to pack a box this year. It's so easy to bring joy to a child! For more information on how to pack a shoebox box go to Operation Christmas Child.