Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Non-Profit of the Week: Operation Christmas Child: If the shoe fits... stuff the box

Where do your empty shoe-boxes go? If they're stacked in your closet, pull a few out because Operation Christmas Child has found a marvelous and worthwhile use for them. Operation Christmas Child is a program of Samaritan's Purse, has sent over 61 million gift-filled shoe boxes to children in need around the world. A simple concept as a way of giving, anyone can participate. Here's the steps:

1. Find a shoe box. (If you don't, go to Target and find yourself a cute new pair for less than $20 and use the box!)
2. Choose whether you would like a boy or girl to receive the shoe box.
3. Fill the shoe box with gifts. These gifts can be anything your heart desires, or better yet what the child's heart desires. While toys and games are great, the simplest things such as crayons, tooth brushes, socks, that we often take for granted are encouraged also.
4. Write a note or card. Wouldn't you want the recipient to know you sent this lovely shoebox?
5. Donate just $7, either by check on on-line to cover the shipping cost of the box.
6. Drop Off either in the mail to their North Carolina warehouse of look up a drop-off location. For those Dover residents, there is a drop-off location right in Camden!

When you visit the Operation Christmas Child site, you can view several testimonial videos of children who received the shoe boxes and how it changed their life. The shoe boxes are delivered all over the world, in 60 countries, from Bosnia to Russia and even the United States. In the past these shoe boxes have gone to hurricane victims, victims of the 2005 tsunami, victims in war-torn Middle-eastern countries, and victims of HIV.
I don't need to convince you to partake in Operation Christmas Child. Heck, even Ronald Reagan has packed a shoebox, and that is one busy guy. As the world's largest Christmas project, OCC plans to send over 8 million boxes this year. Make it 8,000,001 and get packing, National Collection Week is November 17-24, but Christmas can come early for anyone.

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