One of my favorite Christmas things to do is sen out a shoebox full of goodies through Samaritan's Purse. We are making it a tradition with the kids and each year Liza packs up a box for a girl her age and Jason packs up one for a boy his age.
We went shopping as a family and the kids helped us pick things out. Liza thought a girl should have a dress up dress. She wanted to put one of her own in but we couldn't do that. We found a cute little tutu instead though.
And jewelry... because every princess needs some jewelry!
We were yelling "I LOVE TO GIIIIIVE!"
Jason packed his box full of things a boy should love.
We had a really great time putting our boxes together. And it made it really easy to talk about kids who don't have things like we do and how it is really fun to give!
We got all bundled up the next morning, got our boxes and headed to church. We let the kids carry in their own boxes and put them on the table. They have to give away all that stuff that they loved. They make my heart happy.
During the weeks of drop offs I was listening to the Christian radio station and they had people calling in with amazing stories about the shoe boxes. They had me in tears. One girl called in to tell her story... She was on a mission trip to some other country and while she and her interpreter were out one day they got lost. They finally stopped and knocked on a door and the interpreter explained their situation and that they were lost. The woman who opened the door had a little girl who heard the missionaries say they were form America and the little girl got all excited and said she had got something from America. She ran in to another room and came back with a shoe box full of goodies. The missionary, after looking at the box with the girl, realized it was the very one that she had sent! It had everything in it that she had packed! [goosebumps!] The missionaries were invited in and they were able to share about God with this little family and they all came to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior!
We have an awesome and mighty GOD!
Another cool thing about the shoe boxes now is that if you pay your donation online (it covers shipping costs) you can print out a barcode that gets scanned and they will email you and tell you where your box went. I've been waiting and waiting for that email and I got it this morning!
Our shoe boxes went to Iraq this year. :)
Here are some things that volunteers shared about the experience they had dropping off shoe boxes in Iraq...
From a local volunteer: “Eight-year-old Farah received a shoe box. She was so touched that she decided to share her gifts with her school friends. She put some things in an empty shoe box and gave it to her classmate.”
A local volunteer writes: “Ten-year-old Hayder’s father was killed in 2005, and his mother died at a young age. He likes to play ball, so he was very happy when he found a ball in the gift box. He said, ‘God loves me and I love Him.’”
Nine-year-old Khalid said: “When I opened my gift, I saw a letter and picture. I asked about the ones in the picture. I know that they were the senders of this gift for me. I kissed the picture.”
I'm putting pictures in next year.
These aren't our shoe boxes... but they are pictures from Iraq (taken from Samaritan's Purse website.)
We absolutely LOVE everything about these shoe boxes... from going out as a family to buy the gifts to fill them, packing them, dropping them off and knowing that two kids are going to have a HUGE smile on his and her face.
I can't wait until the day that I can pack up 100 shoe boxes to send off. It's a goal of mine.