Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CVS Shopping for Donations: An Introduction to Operation Christmas Child ~ My Favorite this Time of Year (A Guest Post)

You have read several times on Simply CVS how I use my CVS shopping to fill shoe boxes each Christmas for children around the world thru Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child project. There are just four more weeks to gather goodies and pack shoe boxes (see what I got this year so far thru my CVSing--& Sarah's).  I've asked Jessica, a year round Operation Christmas Child (OCC) volunteer to give us some information on the program and also introduce readers to her year round OCC blog, Clip With Purpose, where she helps her readers save more and pack more.  Here is her guest post.
"If you were a child living in conditions such as war, poverty, natural disaster, disease or famine, what gift would you be most thankful for?"
 This was the question posed on the Operation Christmas Child Facebook page last week. There were all sorts of answers: teddy bear, new clothes, a note from someone who loves me, etc. What do you think they'd love to have? Well, whatever it is, the wonderful news is that YOU have the opportunity to send a gift to child living in exactly these kinds of conditions and make a huge difference in their lives! All you have to do is participate in Operation Christmas Child this year!

Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project, has brought joy and hope to over 86 million needy children around the world since 1993. And, they do it in such a simple & brilliant way. People, like you and me, fill a shoebox with gifts for a either a boy or girl aged 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Then, during National Collection Week (November 14-21, 2011), we drop off our shoebox along with a suggested $7 per box donation. Operation Christmas Child takes the shoebox from there and delivers it to needy children even in the farthest corners of the earth.

To check for a drop off location in your area, simply enter
your zip code here. There are over 2,500 drop off locations
nation-wide, so there should be one near you!

Some of the recommended items to include in shoe boxes are hygiene items (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush), small toys, stuffed animals, school supplies, and a personal note from you to the child.  These gifts may seem simple, but it's truly amazing how much these small gifts mean to the children who receive them. For example, Betty a 10 year old in Uganda, began to cry when she received her shoebox gift. When volunteers asked her why she was crying she said she could not believe all these things inside the box belonged to her. She shared how she had not been able to attend school because she did not have a pencil before now.

You can find many more stories like these on my website, Clip with Purpose. Clip with Purpose is a website I've created to help people pack shoe boxes on a budget. My hidden agenda is that I hope people will be able to pack more than one shoebox if they can save some money on the gifts they buy for them! In addition to sharing stories about Operation Christmas Child, I highlight the best deals for shoebox items each week at a wide variety of national stores, share craft ideas for shoeboxes, plus give lots of tips on packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. There's a great community of people sharing ideas and deals on the Clip with Purpose Facebook page as well. I hope you'll stop by and say hello!

Jessica combines her love for great deals and Operation Christmas
Child on her blog, Clip with Purpose. This year, she's challenged
herself to pack 6 shoeboxes with just $10. So far, 5 shoeboxes
have been completed, and she is working on her 6th. Details about her
6th and final(?) shoebox packed with only $10 cash will be posted on
Clip with Purpose soon!

Jessica is a year-round volunteer with Operation Christmas
Child (OCC) in Colorado and a member of the OCC blogger panel.
All posts are Jessica's own thoughts and do not necessarily
reflect the views of Samaritan's Purse. She is not an employee,
agent, or contractor of Samaritan's Purse.

Here is an earlier post in which I shared some of my family's experiences with Operation Christmas Child.


Clayton Saver said...

Thanks to this site, Jessica's and about 2 others, I am filling 18 shoeboxes this year for very little $ and having alot of fun doing it.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Fantastic, Clayton!! I think we packers have as much fun as the children receiving the boxes.