Category: Operation Christmas Child

Our Operation Christmas Child Crafts Featured on Clip with Purpose

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I am so excited that our Operation Christmas Child post of  my son and his friends making crafts is being featured on Clip with Purpose.  Clip with Purpose is a blog dedicated to helping people find deals, and save money on items for the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.  
Shopping and preparing to fill shoe boxes is a year round event in our home, and Clip with Purpose helps you with tips, tricks, deals, and craft ideas, too! 
Their mission is to help as many people as possible pack as many shoe boxes as possible for Operation Christmas Child!  
Need more ideas, or inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board:

Follow Frances’s board Operation Christmas Child & Shoe Box Ideas on Pinterest.

Operation Christmas Child 2013

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This year we’re gearing up again for our annual family tradition – Operation Christmas Child! This year has also been a first for us to receive a letter from a shoebox recipient from Malawi! It is also the first year where little one made friendship bracelets, and met with his friends  to make homemade crafts for their shoeboxes. 
Teaching empathy, compassion, selflessness, and love through the simple act of making crafts for other children is priceless! Having also received a letter from a very grateful little boy goes beyond our dreams, and it is a testament on how we change the life of a child by sharing the love of God through a simple gift of a shoebox. 
Throughout the year, I’ve also been saving and preparing for this year’s shoe boxes. I was excited to participate in a $10 challenge to fill a shoebox with school supplies.

National Collection Week is from November 18-25, 2013. You can still participate!

Need more ideas, or inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board:

Follow Frances’s board Operation Christmas Child & Shoe Box Ideas on Pinterest.


However, if you feel that the deadline is too close you can always participate with Build a Shoebox On-Line!

During this holiday season make a difference in a child’s life – pack a shoebox, and may God bless you abundantly!  
Thank you, and if you want to take a look at  past year’s participation click here, and here.

Have you participated in Operation Christmas Child before? Perhaps another ministry? Please comment, like, pin or share! 

Crafts Made by Children for Children {Operation Christmas Child}

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I am very passionate about Operation Christmas Child, and every year we participate as a family. However, this year I planned something fun and different. 
I’m blessed to have friends with children who share my same passion for Operation Christmas Child, and support the cause of making the difference in another child’s life. So I organized a children’s craft workshop for Operation Christmas Child with with my son, and his friends. 
Before the start of our workshop I had a conversation with the children about our craft workshop, and they were all mindful that they were making crafts to include in their shoe boxes. 
As a reminder I had them watch a short Operation Christmas Child promo video on a tablet. We talked about the other children’s need, and how blessed they were. 
After our conversation we said a prayer for the children who will receive these precious gift made by them. Then the fun began!  Each one colored the “All About Me” coloring page, made beaded friendship bracelets, decorated bags, and a hand print post card.  
They had the most fun making the hand print post cards, and enjoyed decorating the bags. During our craft workshop they also had a snack break with donuts, and juice; and  time to freely play in the backyard.

I pray that my child, and his friends will leave from this workshop with a sense of empathy, compassion, and love for others that aren’t as fortunate as they are.  I pray too, that the children receiving these gift will come to know the love of God through the power of a simple gift.  

For more ideas on check out my Operation Christmas Child Pinterest board.  National Collection Week is from November 18-25, so you still have time to fill a shoe box and make a difference in a child’s life.

Need more ideas, or inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board:

Follow Frances’s board Operation Christmas Child & Shoe Box Ideas on Pinterest.

This post is a linky! It will run through November 25th which is the last day of National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child. 

$10 Back-to-School Challenge {Operation Christmas Child}


Looking through the web I came across Home School Creation’s post on the $10 Back-to-School challenge for Operation Christmas Child. I was hooked, and excited!  Although we’ve been planning for this through out the year I couldn’t pass on the challenge!  
The challenge was:  
  1. Will you commit to devoting ten dollars of your back-to-school shopping for your Operation Christmas Child shoe box? Yes! 
  2. How far can you stretch that ten dollars with the back-to-school sales? See the picture below. 🙂 

The items purchased will be used to fill the shoe boxes we’ve already finished, and the rest we will save for more shoe boxes.   
Packing shoe boxes is a family affair.  Little one and I have been working on making “Friendship” Bead Bracelet” for the shoe boxes this year, and we’ve already packed eight of them. You can check them out on my Operation Christmas Child Pinterest Board with the description, and numbered:  OCC SHOE BOX #1-8 2013.
To participate in this beautiful ministry, and make a difference in a child’s life go to Samaritan’s Purse

Simple “Friendship” Bead Bracelet {Operation Christmas Child}


We’re gearing up for our annual family Christmas tradition Operation Christmas Child. Little one and I made these cute, and simple beaded “friendship” bracelets. He came home one day from his preschool with a similar bracelet, and told me they were “friendship” bracelets. So that’s what we called them. 

All you need is chenille stems, and beads. 🙂 

Little one helped make them. He enjoyed making different patterns, and some of just one color bead. I twisted the ends together, and slid the beads to cover it.  
We made 12 friendship bracelets. One for each box of Operation Christmas Child. We’re pretty excited about packing shoe boxes especially when little one has been actively participating since we started. You can read about the first time we packed shoe boxes, and started our family tradition here

Operation Christmas Child is a worldwide children’s project of Samaritan’s Purse that uses simple gift-filled shoe boxes containing school supplies, toys, necessity items and notes of encouragement to let hurting children know God loves them and they are not forgotten. The shoe box gifts are collected in the United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.  Samaritan’s Purse hand delivers each of the millions of shoe box gifts to children in more than 100 countries on six continents.

If you would like more information on how to participate check out their website here.
Do you participate in Operation Christmas Child? What do you like to include in your shoeboxes? 

Thank You Letter from an OCC Shoe Box Recipient


This is going to be a very short, and sweet post.  
As a family we’ve been packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child for 2 years now: 2011 & 2012.  When we pack shoe boxes we pray that our gifts will touch the lives of a child through God’s love, and we love to know what country our shoe boxes will go to.  Our first year we made our donation on-line so we can track the shoe boxes through “Follow the box“, however last year we were unable to do so; and wrote a check instead.  So we really didn’t know where the boxes will go and who will receive them. 
This past weekend we received a very unexpected surprise in the mail! It was a letter  from a 9 yr. old boy from Malawi a country in Africa! In his letter he was thanking us for the gifts he received from us! My son and I were beyond excited! Especially since the envelope was addressed to our son. 🙂  I’ve heard stories from people who have received letters from the children who received their shoe boxes, but I never really expected to receive one! 
After I read the letter to our 4 yr. old he understood the reality of how other children live. He was empathetic, and noticed that the boy in the picture didn’t have shoes on, and that his pants were torn. He immediately said, “Momma, we will have to pack another shoe box, and send him pants, and shoes.”  This warmed my heart, as it shows how compassionate my child is.  
This year we’re looking forward to packing more shoe boxes. We’re so grateful that God is using us to touch and change the lives of these children.  For more information on how you too can pack a shoe box go to:  Samaritan’s Purse.  

Operation Christmas Child

This is our 2nd year participating in this awesome ministry, and I want to start off my post with this beautiful video from Samaritan’s Purse.  Every time I watch it, it brings tears to my face, happy ones! Feeling so blessed that we’re able to put smiles on the faces of these children. 
As I mentioned in my first post about Operation Christmas Child.  I have been collecting freebies (from hotels, conferences and festivals), and purchasing items on sales, clearance, and with coupons for this year’s shoe boxes.  
I also ordered through Vistaprint  this cute card that I made to include in the shoe boxes. (They were free! I just paid shipping!) 
Samaritan’s Purse has this awesome form that children can personalize and add to the shoe boxes. So, we included this About Me form that my son colored himself. I added his picture, filled in the blanks for him and in the back I included our family picture. Since we have 15 boxes I had him color 2 sheets, and then I made 15 color copies to include in the shoe boxes. You can download this form here.

Last year little one helped pack the shoe boxes with things that I had purchased. However, I wanted to teach him the importance of giving to those less fortunate, and have him fully involved in selecting toys for another child. So we set off to shop, and I told him that we weren’t shopping for him, and that we were going to fill shoe boxes for poor children. So before going into the store (he’s going to pack two shoe boxes ages 2-4) this was our conversation:

Me:  “Do you know what we’re doing here?”
Little one:  “Yes, Mommy. We’re going to buy gifts for other children.”
Me:  “What children?” 
Little one: “For the children that don’t have toys, because there mommies and daddies can’t get it for them.” 
Me:  “True.  OK,  baby. Do you want to buy for boys only or for a boy and a girl?” 
Little one:  “Mommy, I want to buy for one girl, and for one boy!”  

He starts looking around, and picks the toys, some candy, markers, and some other things. Off we go to the cashier, and he wants to pay all by himself so I give him the money.  Sweet!  
This past weekend little one was ready to pack the shoe boxes with his Daddy. He packed shoe boxes for one boy and one girl ages 2-4. He was so proud and excited! Though, we still need to decorate and wrap  some of the shoe boxes before the drop-off date, but at least they are all finished.  


After months of planning, preparing, and praying we have finally tallied up our shoe boxes: 15 in total! What a blessing!  It has been a joy seeing these empty shoe boxes come together. 15 shoe boxes, 15 lives for ever changed! The shoe boxes and the contents of what we packed can be found here

We can’t wait for National Collection Week!  We will be joined by my mommy friends, and their children. I’m looking forward to seeing the kids go in and drop-off their shoe boxes! Not only are they making a difference, they are also learning a valuable life lesson: “learning to give to others that are less fortunate.”
Make a difference in a child’s life, pack a shoe box!  It’s still not too late to participate in Operation Christmas Child!  If you have an empty shoe box, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, hard candy, and some small toys you can probably pack one! For more ideas and suggestions on how to pack a shoe box go here. National Collection Week is during November. You can check for the drop-off locations here.

While you’re here take a look at: 

Simple beaded friendship bracelets for OCC recipients. 
A $10 challenge for the OCC shoe box.
Crafts made by children for children for the OCC shoe box. 
Thank you letter sent to us from a recipient! 
Need more ideas, or inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board:

Follow Frances’s board Operation Christmas Child & Shoe Box Ideas on Pinterest.

Please share, like or comment! Love hearing what you have to say!

“Operation Christmas Child” Our New Family Tradition 2011


Last year our li’l family participated in Operation Christmas Child. What is this? It’s the simple power of spreading the word of the Lord, by packing a shoe box for a child who otherwise would not receive a gift during Christmas.
It’s a true blessing to be able to teach our child the gift of giving, compassion and love. I pray too, that we can raise an unselfish, caring, and compassionate child; and this is a great ministry to show him how he can help others.  This has become our new family tradition during Christmas.  
Packing the shoe boxes.
We were blessed to have been able to pack 5 boxes for 5 children 
and 5 lives have changed forever. Thank you Lord!  
Getting ready to drop off the shoe boxes at the church. 
My friend Elizabeth with her 2 young children also joined us! 
Love to see the children walking in to drop-off their shoe boxes. 
Church members of the drop-off location standing by the map of where the shoe boxes will be delivered. 
We’re almost 2 months away from National Collection Week which will be November 12-19, 2012.  I’m so looking forward to it, and I’m happy to say that I will have more friends & their children joining us this year.   

I already have a few boxes packed with items that I have purchased through out the year, and freebie items that I have been able to collect.  So this year, I’m doing something different with little man. I’m  going to take him to the store, and let him “shop” for one boy and one girl.  This is going to be a great lesson, since he will be actually picking out toys, and goodies for someone else, and not for him. 
I will post pictures, and blog about our 2012 OCC Shoe boxes soon! 
For more information on packing shoe boxes go here.