Operation Christmas Child is a cause near and dear to this heart that swells for children.

I can’t stand the thought of other children not feeling God’s love during the holidays.  Obviously, I’m not alone.  In walked Samaritan’s Purse, who was the sponsor of one of our meals at Relevant 2010.

To quote the summary from Samaritan’s Purse Facebook page, “Operation Christmas Child brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes and the Good News of God’s love. Since 1993, more than 61 million shoe boxes have been packed, shipped, and delivered across the globe. People of all ages can be involved in this simple, hands-on missions project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas—Jesus Christ.  These shoe boxes truly do make a difference in a child’s life!!!!

Here are the 5 steps towards making a difference in a child’s life:

Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.

Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading the artwork to the right. Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.

Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child. Use the gift ideas provided on the bottom of this page.

Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our EZGIVE option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.

Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop off at the Collection Center nearest you during our collection week November 17 – 24.

To find a drop off location near you, click here!

On a personal note, this is a WONDERFUL giving opportunity to do with your children.  Susannah, Sawyer, and Solomon each fill a box for a child sharing their same age and gender.  We then track our box (this can be done online) which makes for a great geography lesson as well. To introduce this project, I use the Operation Christmas Child Veggie Tale video on You Tube.  Here it is:

On another note, I recently accepted a writing opportunity at the host of my favorite meme – Word Filled Wednesdays.  Internet Cafe Devotions is a beautiful ministry committed to serving our God.  Their “Fall Into Jesus” Giveaway begins today and will extend through Friday.  Here’s the skinny:

We here at the cafe want to help you during this glorious season to fall into Jesus and experience His love like never before. How, you ask, are we going to do this? Oh, my friends…we have some fabulous blessings in store for you. From clothing, to jewelry, to books, to movies, to music, we have treasures galore that will help you to fall into your sweet Jesus more.

This year our “Fall into Jesus” giveaway is a BLESSING indeed! “Fall” Into Jesus Giveaway runs from today, October 25, 2010 through Thursday, October 28, 2010. Two winners will be selected at random and announced on Friday, October 29, 2010.

Head on over to the Internet Café to find out how you can enter for your chance to win one of two fabulous giveaway bundles.

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