This year, a global pandemic isn’t stopping families and individuals from packing gift-filled shoeboxes for boys and girls in the far corners of the world through the Samaritan’s Purse project: Operation Christian Child. Children need deep-rooted hope and great joy, now more than ever. Most important, they need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.
So, Christian Grandparenting Network Canada would like to challenge grandparents across Canada to prayerfully participate in this worthy ministry effort and to include your grandchildren in the process as you pack shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items.
For several years, we have had unmitigated joy as we take three of our grandchildren out to shop for ‘our’ Christmas Child! Helping our grandchildren learn valuable lessons about generosity and compassion starts at home. We begin by praying for the children who will be receiving the shoeboxes. It is an excellent time to share the gospel story with our grandchildren, letting them know this shoebox can be used of God to bring kids around the world to Jesus. It gives our grandchildren an opportunity to be an ambassador for Christ. We also go to Samaritan’s Purse website. They love seeing the videos of children receiving the boxes.
After praying, each grandchild chooses to pack their box for a boy or girl and select the age group for each. With our shoeboxes in hand, we head off to the nearest Walmart.
These kids are concentrated shoppers! They go up and down the aisles choosing gifts and carefully putting them in the shoeboxes. After each box is completely full to overflowing, our grands proudly display the contents and excitedly tell about their purchases. We always include a photo of ourselves, along with a handwritten note to each child. In addition, we also include a financial gift to help Samaritan’s Purse offset mailing costs. Finally, we drop the boxes off at a distribution center to be prepared for shipment. It is a day well spent.
And we continue to pray. We pray for each shoebox recipient, their country, the volunteer Operation Christmas Child leaders in that nation, and the local churches that distribute the boxes.
Build a Shoebox Online: If you are separated from your grandchildren by distance or are self-isolating, you can interact with your grandchildren through Zoom or Facetime or whatever platform you use to keep in touch. Samaritan’s Purse also has an online choice. In a few clicks from a computer or handheld device, the page allows people to choose items to include in a shoebox, complete with a letter and photo. Samaritan’s Purse will pack and ship the shoebox for a donation of $40.00 Cdn. https://packabox.samaritanspurse.ca/
As parents or grandparents, we have been entrusted with the awesome opportunity and responsibility of helping shape the hearts and minds of our children and grandchildren. As Izabella McMillon, spokesperson for Operation Christmas Child and a former shoebox gift recipient who now packs shoeboxes with her own children, reminds us, “There is a big difference between doing something because you feel bad for someone and giving out of the motivation of true empathy.”
So, grandparents use this opportunity to help your grandchildren experience sharing God’s Greatest Gift – Jesus Christ – with others.
*Adopted from Renewanation, Hope Amidst COVID-19 through a Simple Shoebox