I’m sure most of you have seen the shoeboxes all over the place: red and green, filled or available for filling, with toys for kids all over the world who wouldn’t otherwise get presents this Christmas? Well Operation Christmas Child, a campaign organized by Samaritan’s Purse does the most amazing job with the Shoeboxes. Our church collects them, our favorite coffee shops collect them, then the boxes are delivered to the OCC warehouse where they are checked over to make sure they are full of safe fun things for kids, then taped up and sent literally all over the world. For the last few years, we’ve had Picky Princess help us fill a couple of boxes with toys and stickers and candy. This year we wanted to be a little bit more purposeful in our commitment to community activism. I know it’s always so much easier to be motivated and engaged in social justice issues around Christmas, but we really are going to try to plan something every month, where we go and serve the people in our community, or through an organization internationally. It’s an act of gratitude, that we have been blessed and so we bless others, an act of community, that we support those who need the support. It’s something we hope to deeply embed in the DNA of our little family. So last night we volunteered at the warehouse. What an incredible operation they have going! Completely machined by volunteers, we set up assembly line style, checking boxes, filling boxes, taping boxes, packing boxes. It was so fun! About the fastest 3 hours of my life. I stood at the the tape and was literally the last person to check and touch the boxes that will be transported and opened by a child somewhere around the world. I was quite teary thinking about this and imagining a 4 year old somewhere far away, no less loved than my 4 year old, no less deserving than my 4 year old, no less gifted and amazing than my 4 year old. To think that this shoebox may be their only gift this year, to think that their parents who adore them cannot provide for them presents and rituals of a special season, an afternoon of baking cookies, apple cider. I don’t know…it makes me sad. And grateful.
Anyway. Get involved. Find a shoebox, fill a shoebox! Here’s a pic of us by a crate of shoeboxes.