November 18-25 is National Collection Week at Samaritan's Purse. Chick-Fil-A has partnered with Operation Christmas Child and some of the locations (like Any Orange County locations in Southern California) have extended it and you can drop off shoeboxes filled with gifts until November 30, 2013.
Setting aside religious and/or political beliefs if they conflict with either of the companies involved, we need to think of the children who will ultimately be getting these gifts. When you give the gift of a Christmas present, 100% of what you give goes to a child. So when you send school books, a child in need will read them. When you send a soft, huggable stuffed lovie a child will feel safe and warm snuggling their gift at night. They don't care what you believe, they don't care if you don't even celebrate Christmas - they will just appreciate the love and the hope is that some of these children will be inspired to complete the circle of giving and in their own way pay it forward to give to others someday.
This is the reason to give right here. Give for the chance to fill these kids with pure joy and love.
Age category for shoeboxes: Boy or Girl: 2-4, 5-9, 10-14.
What to give: Start with a larger toy, such as a stuffed animal, car, or doll. Add toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. Do not include used items, war-related toys, chocolate or perishable foods, liquids, medicines, or breakable items.
Here is the link from Samaritan's Purse about volunteering with them and/or making a donation of a Christmas box. They are asking to please send $7.00 to cover shipping costs for each box and if you donate that online you can follow where your box goes. You can also follow them on twitter.
Chick-Fil-A has teamed up with them and some of the locations are an official drop off location. They are even giving a coupon for a free sandwich for each filled box you bring in. If you don't eat there for whatever reason you can give your coupon away to someone who would love a free sandwich. Unfortunately, there are many homeless people in our world right now and if you drive a few blocks around your own house you will find someone to give your free sandwich coupon to.
The point is to give back, pay it forward and share the love.
Please join our family today in going to pick out gifts for children in need who, most likely, will not be receiving a ton of presents under a beautiful Christmas tree this year. We have a 5 year old and a 3 year old and we are letting them pick out their own box for a child who is their age and my husband and I will make gift boxes for the 10-14 age category. In the past when I have donated items to shelters and even when our family hosted a Pajama Drive a few years ago for the Pajama Program (a company who is near and dear to my heart) we learned in talking to the people working at the shelters, that many older kids get neglected during gift giving time because so many people want to help the babies and the small kids, which is wonderful don't get me wrong. However, we need to remember that older children and teenagers are in homeless shelters too, or in foster care and they need love too. Sometimes they need it more because they see more and know more.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Please check back to my blog as I will be posting about our family donation to Operation Christmas Child this year.
Peace, Love & Light