Teaching Your Kids Compassion with a Shoe Box #OCCGiving

In our home we like to call November “Thankful Month” – a month to focus on giving, compassion and being thankful. Over the years we have participated in a a variety of activities to remind and teach us to become more compassionate and thankful but one tradition we have repeated year after year for the last 15 years is filling Shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child – It all began one fall day when walked into my local Bible book store and there was this huge stack of red and green shoe boxes, next to it was a display of books titled “Miracle in a Shoe Box” by Franklin Graham, founder of Operation Christmas Child.

I picked up the book and skimmed through it only to discover this was the story about Operation Christmas Child in action an organization that each year collects shoe boxes filled with a variety of items to be shipped across the world to children who may never receive one Christmas gift until the shoe box arrives.

I was compelled from that moment to begin an annual tradition with my children, filling shoe boxes to be sent across the world to children who were in desperate situations at the same time teaching my children a lesson on compassion.

The book has since gone out of print (available online at used book sites and maybe your local library) but the tradition has continued on in my family each year giving me one more opportunity to teach my children about compassion, giving, and being thankful for the ability to bless another child we may never meet

Will you begin a new family tradition teaching your kids about compassion and join the Novotny family in filling shoe boxes?

November 12-19, 2012 is National Collection Week so grab those shoe boxes and let’s get filling.

It’s simple and fun with these easy step by step instructions:

Step #1 – Find a drop off location near you Click Here

Step #2 Choose a shoe box – Use an empty shoe box ) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), wrapping is not required.

Step #3 Decide on boy or girl– and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.

Click here to download and print the appropriate labels

Step #4 Fill with gifts– Fill the box with a variety of gifts that from the list below or be creative with your own ideas.

TOYS – small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky®, etc.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES – pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.

HYGIENE ITEMS – toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.

OTHER – Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)

A PERSONAL NOTE – In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)

DO NOT INCLUDE – Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

Step #5 Pay for Shipping– Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. r you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top/ inside your box.

Step #6 Drop off – Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop off at the Collection Center. For locations and hours of collection visit our Drop-Off Locations page

Now watch my two boys Shoe Box Filling experience:

Two Boys – Two Boxes – Two Gifts for Operation Christmas Child

This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.

Operation Christmas Child and influencer marketing platform BlogFrog have teamed up with 200 bloggers like me to spread the word about this great cause.

BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.

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