Involving Children in Service:: Operation Christmas Child

Posted Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Contributed by Kate of kaetoo.

Christmas is fast approaching and Operation Christmas Child is in full swing.

Have you come across Operation Christmas Child before? It’s a global operation run since 1993 by Samaritan’s Purse where families, churches, schools and businesses put together gift-filled shoe boxes to be distributed to children in need. From 1993 through 2012, some 100 million gift boxes have been handed out in more than 130 countries.

To pack a box for a child, all you need is a shoe box and a selection of presents. Different countries have different specific guidelines about what presents to include, but in general you want to pack:

Something to love
Something for school
Something to wear
Something to play with
Something for personal hygiene
Something special

Take care to look into the restrictions on what shouldn't be included.

You select whether you want to pack for a boy or a girl and the age (2–4, 5–9 or 10–14 years old) of the child. The presents don’t have to be expensive. For example, there is a great range of handmade creations under $15USD that could be used to pack a box right here on Etsy from EtsyKids Members.

Something to love (top left) - Monster Plush from ‘Bright Life Toys
Something for school (top middle) - Crayon Roll Up from ‘Happy Babee and Beeyond
Something to wear (top right) - Horse Brass Tee from ‘From Marissa V.’
Something to play with (bottom left) - Wooden Flipping Spinning Top from ‘apple n amos
Something for personal hygiene (bottom middle) - Pinwheel Hair Clip from ‘Magnificence
Something special (bottom right) - Reusable Sandwich Bag from ‘the Greener Route

Every child deserves to feel special and getting a present at Christmas time brings a boy or girl a lot of joy. In addition, learning to give is an important lesson for kids. In my house, the toddlers really loved selecting and wrapping a present for someone else and they were so proud to carry them into the drop off centre and add them to the pile.

The drop off dates are fast approaching. Start packing now!

Australia ( – October is national collection month, finishing 25 October

Canada (, collection week is 18 – 24 November

United Kingdom (, collection is 1 – 18 November

United States (, collection week is 18 – 24 November

Kate is from Melbourne, VIC, Australia, and is the creator/owner of 'kaetoo' Canvas Photo Boards on Etsy.  She sells a wide variety of personalized, handmade embossed bulletin boards in all sizes, colors and themes.  Follow Kate's work on facebook and at her blog

1 comment:

Karen said...

Lovely! We pack some of these boxes every year and are addicted, it's so fun! What a great cause, if you are looking for a wonderful charity, I highly recommend this one!

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