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Christmas Giving with Operation Christmas Child

Christmas is coming up fast.  In the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to take some time to give back.  I’m going to pause for a moment to say that though I use the words “give back”, I don’t mean that you should only give if someone has given something to you.  I mean give back as in “you are blessed, pass on some of that to someone who needs it.”  Ok…back to our regularly scheduled program.

I love volunteering and trying to find ways to give to others.  My boss has said that I need a sign that says “Please stop me from volunteering!” because I’m always signing up for things.  While Christmas time is definitely NOT the ONLY time to give back, it is often a time that families need a little extra help.

This past weekend, me and my friend Erin packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child (US site/CAD site).  Shoeboxes are stuffed with goodies and sent to children in need around the world.  I like to stuff shoeboxes because you can help multiple children without huge outlays of cash.  It is also a great way to get your children involved.  Erin and I each stuffed 5 boxes for less $100.  It’s easy and relatively quick.  Note, though, that pick up week is right around the corner (next week!) so you will have to move fast if you want to participate.


Getting ready to pack shoeboxes!


I packed boxes for boys age 2-4 (2 boxes) and 5-9 (3 boxes)


Evan helped out by decorating the boxes with Christmas stickers

One of the other ways I like to give back is to adopt a family.  There are many organizations that will set you up with a family to adopt.  Our team at work almost always adopts a family.  When I saw that we hadn’t put up our hand this year, I…you guessed it….volunteered to head up our adopt a family program.  You can choose how big a family to adopt so this is a great option for any group large or small.

Sound like too much of a time commitment?  Well, look out for Angel trees at your nearest mall.  These often have names and info on gifts needed that you can buy and then bring back to the service desk.  Easy peasy.  Also giving money or food to the food bank is a worth while cause any time of year.

I hope those were a few ideas to get you thinking about how you can give back (and teach your kids to too!).  What is your favorite way to give back during the holidays?

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Tuesday 22nd of November 2011

Great ideas! Kevin and I are going to help the Vancouver Food bank collect donations at the Santa Claus parade, and then I'm also volunteering to man the gift wrapping booth in the mall for our local food bank. Also, I donate stuff that's for the kids that I directly work with, which is fun-they don't know where it came from, but I know exactly what they need.

Bethany M

Tuesday 15th of November 2011

I do Operation Christmas Child with my niece and nephews each year as it is a great way to teach them that Christmas is about giving, not just receiving presents.

I also volunteer at Santa's Anonymous wrapping Christmas packages for kids who otherwise would not have a present Christmas morning. And since I love to wrap presents, this is the perfect activity for me!

Les Botchar

Tuesday 15th of November 2011

My kids and I do a shoebox every year for a child. It's great fun to go the dollar store to find items that will make a child smile. At first I thought they would just whine about what They wanted....but they "get it" now. They also must choose one toy each year to donate to charity, before they can do their own letter to Santa.

This year, we adopted a girl from El Salvador through Plan Canada's Because I am A Girl program. Since my eldest, (boy, who is also the greediest when it comes to wanting) is the only one able to write - it will be his responsibility to take dictation for our family letters to her, and to read any she would send us. Choosing to adopt was a result of my own decision to show my children a sacrifice I was willing to make: that $36 per month that now goes to her -- that's mama's Starbuck's allowance gone. I want my children to learn what it is truly means to have compassion, and a serving heart.