Every year, my family tries to do something to "give back" during the holidays. We've participated in the local Fireman's Toy Drive for several years now. Most years we also pick an angel off of the Salvation Army Angel tree to buy gifts for - usually a boy who is my son's age at the time, so that it will be more meaningful for him. Sometimes we make donations to certain non-profits that we really like such as Country Ladies Rescue, which is where we got our precious dog, Mac (the best dog EVER) or to the local Humane Society of East Texas.
This year we chose to pack a shoe box with gifts for "Operation Christmas Child" through Samaritan's Purse. I saw a news story on a local channel about a girl who grew up in Russia. She was adopted by an American family when she was 11, but she still remembers the Christmas box that she received while she lived in the orphanage in Russia. She spoke about what a blessing it was for her and all the other children to get something that someone packed just for them and how it made her feel like someone was thinking about her and loved her. The story just made me cry.
So I said to my son and husband, "let's do Operation Christmas child this year". You could choose to pack a box for a girl or boy and of course, my son picked a boy. So we packed 2 shoe boxes. One for a boy aged 5-9 years and one for a boy aged 10-14 years.
We basically followed the guidelines given when buying items to fill the boxes. We bought socks, gum, school supplies, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hair combs, and toys. For the toys, we bought metal race cars and a small football for the older boy. For the younger boy, we bought small plastic animals, a stuffed animal, and a small football.
We took our boxes to the drop off location on Friday and we were given two sweet, metal, Christmas tree ornaments as a thank you. They had a big semi trailer in the parking lot and it was almost full to the brim with packed boxes.
I don't know when our boxes will be delivered but our thoughts and prayers are with the children who receive them.
Feel free to click any of the above links and donate to these very worthy causes or get yourself a new pet for Christmas!