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Christmas Shoe Boxes

This year we were looking for a Christmas charity geared for children that would help our daughter better understand the world. A friend recommended Operation Christmas Child or the Christmas Shoe Box as we now call it. Operation Christmas Child is a charitable project from Samaritan’s Purse that strives to provide gift filled shoe boxes to children around the world. Shoe boxes from Canada are primarily sent to countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean and West Africa. Each shoe box can be filled with either a boy or girl in mind, within 3 age groups (2-4, 5-9, or 10-14). You can use either a regular sized shoe box, or a plastic box. The boxes can be wrapped, but the lid needs to be wrapped separately. I believe that they are checked before being shipped overseas. The suggested items are all small things that we may take for granted, but that can mean so much to children.

Here are some of the suggested items:

- notebook

- pencils/ pens

- eraser

- pencil sharpener

- pencil crayons

- toothbrush

- pair of socks

- comb

- bar of soap (in sealed bag)

- wash cloth

- toothbrush

- pack of stickers

- ball

- toy car

- activity book

- small soft toy

- hard candy (in sealed bag)

This can also be a great group charity activity. You can set aside a time for everyone to fill their shoe box, or each child could bring in an item from the list and the group can fill as many shoe boxes as possible.

To cover operating costs, they request a donation of at least $7 a box. This can be placed in an envelope inside the shoe box, or online at https://secure.samaritan.ca/Donation/DonationPage.aspx?pc=080053. Operation Christmas Child collection takes place the week of November 21-27, so it’s a great way to start your holiday season. There are various collection points across the city. Check the locator for the location nearest you.

Alison is the mother to two energetic children, ages "almost 6" and 2. She blogs at  Ali’s Adventures.

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