Last year, the metro Atlanta area collected 38,000 shoe box gifts for children around the world. National Collection Week ends Monday, with drop- off locations throughout the area including Atlanta, Alpharetta, Buford, Cumming, Johns Creek, Duluth, Marietta, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Loganville, Powder Springs, Snellville, Sugar Hill and Tucker.
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, and is the world’s largest Christmas gift project. Since 1993, the organization has hand-delivered more than 95 million shoe box gifts to needy children in more than 130 countries. In 2012, the project hopes to collect and deliver 9 million shoe box gifts.
For details on how to pack a box, how to “follow your box,” or where to drop off your box, visit www.samartianspurse.org/occ.
How to Pack a Box with Your Child
What you need:
Box stuffers: toys, toiletries, crayons, school supplies
What to do:
Take kids shopping and let them choose items for their shoe box gift. Help them think through what items a disadvantaged child might need and enjoy. Choose toys, school supplies and hygiene items that would give comfort and joy.
Watch a video on www.samartianspurse.org about how small items can change the life of a child who received them in a shoe box gift.
Wrap the shoe box with colorful paper and pack it with gifts. Step-by-step packing instructions are available at on the organization’s website.
Write a note of encouragement to the child who will receive the shoe box gift. Consider including a photo and an address, inviting the shoe box recipient to write back.
Look at a map and discuss which of the 100 receiving countries may be the shoe box final destination. Then register the shoe box gift using the EZ Give donation form on the website. Operation Christmas Child uses tracking technology that allows donors to “follow the box” to find out the destination country where it will be hand-delivered to a child in need.
Look for the drop off location closest to you through Monday, at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ.