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Se7en Do Christmas: Step 1 – Operation Christmas Box…

November 5th, 2009 · 19 Comments

We blogged about Operation Christmas Box last year, and here I am sharing the details again. It is the very first event on our list of Christmas things to do. Just by placing this project first on our list is an indicator to our kids of how important it is to serve others. We have been doing this for a couple of years and it hasn’t yet become my job and neither is it yet another thing on my list of things to do. It is my kids project, I am there to enable them – not do it for them.


In the spirit of giving and sharing this is a great project that takes the focus off buying presents for friends and family who already have more than enough “stuff,” not to mention extending our wish lists and helps us to keep in mind those who really have nothing and yet need so much. I like this project, my kids spend a lot of energy on it and we gather up school stationary and little gifts throughout the year. It is not unheard of when out shopping to hear: “Can I get this for my Christmas Box?” And when it’s a bargain the answer is a resounding “yes!” We know it is coming it isn’t a sudden financial killer at the end of the year – a shoebox of goodies can add up quickly!

Here is the What, Why, When, Who and How for the project:

  • What: Pack a shoebox with goodies: stationary, small toys, small books, little treats – ready to donate to a child who will be getting very little else for Christmas.
  • Why: To serve folk in our local community who have so much less than we do, it is never hard to find poverty when you are living in Africa, and often because we are living in suburbia it is so easy to be blind to it, well here is a tangible way to provide a little bit of Christmas relief to a child who would otherwise get nothing.
  • When: The closing date for local boxes is 20 November 2011 – they have to be in before our local schools close for the holidays.
  • Who: Click through to this years information sheet for details and ideas for filling your box. And contact details and where to hand in your filled boxes.
  • How: Grab a shoe box, cover it in Christmas gift wrap and pack it with goodies appropriate for a child in an age group you have selected off the information sheet. Print out the information sheet and attach it to your box and send it off.

At this stage it really is a quick job to put together shoeboxes. We decorate the boxes one day gather our goodies and pack them the next and deliver them the next. I do check them over at the last minute just in case a little private project has snuck in. We get those: “one man’s treasure is another man’s ….” Yup, little stones from the garden wrapped in scrap paper, carefully saved half packet of sweeties. So really my only part in the project is a discerning eye and delivery.

I challenge you to make a shoebox with your kids. If you cannot find a local Operation Christmas Child you will surely be able to find children less fortunate than your own. Donate to them. Make a shoebox with your kids, do it with a group of families and help to nurture a giving spirit.

This information is local for Capetonians who are interested in the project, if you would like more information then feel free contact niki (082 555 2556) If you live anywhere else in the world then follow the links in this post or Google “Operation Christmas Child” and see what you have in your area.

All the best, let me know how your shoe boxing goes…

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Tags: Organizing Se7en

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jess // Nov 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    OK, kicking my butt of the couch and moving this one from the “yes, I will do that one day” to that “yes, we will do that this month.” Thanks for the shove!

  • 2 se7en // Nov 5, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Hi J – No looking back, now!!! Have a fun weekend!

  • 3 Linda B // Nov 5, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    We do this every year and absolutely love it! For folks in the U.S., the deadline is a week earlier. The Samaritan’s Purse website has some amazing stories of the impact the boxes have made and the direct answers to prayers some boxes have contained.

  • 4 se7en // Nov 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Hi L, Thanks for the link to Samaritan’s Purse… and thanks so much for the deadline, that’s fabulous of you!!!

  • 5 Kimberly // Nov 6, 2009 at 4:05 am

    This is my most favorite thing in the world to do! And now I love getting to do it with my kids – it’s such a tangible way to show love to others!

  • 6 lunzy // Nov 6, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Thanks for the info. Totally doing this with my kids this year. It’s really too easy not to do.

  • 7 se7en // Nov 6, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Hi K, I am always surprised at how much fun this is… I know “giving is better than receiving” but this really is! Have Fun!!!

  • 8 se7en // Nov 6, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Hi L, Go for it!!! You’ll see your kids will totally love it!!! Have a good weekend…

  • 9 Aunty Muffin // Nov 6, 2009 at 9:29 am

    have been doing it for years; even with my ‘grown’ kids, and still special!

  • 10 Se7en Do Christmas: Step 2 – Christmas Cards… | se7en // Nov 18, 2009 at 7:41 am

    […] Christmas Boxes are stuffed and the pile is getting stacked at the door as little people add their last bits and […]

  • 11 This Week (23 November) At Se7en… | se7en // Nov 24, 2009 at 2:24 am

    […] you live in Cape Town and you are planning on doing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Box, then follow the link to get the drop off details. This is the last week to hand in a […]

  • 12 Connie Harris // Dec 2, 2009 at 6:36 am

    A question: we LOVE getting things to Tanzania, a small village there in the mountains. We live in Utah, and either need to hand carry items, or… could we get 800 Christmas boxes there? Any ideas on the shipping? Connie

  • 13 se7en // Dec 2, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Hi C, I have no idea but what a brilliant idea! If I were you I would get hold of my local contact for Operation Christmas Box and ask what they suggest!!! Good luck!

  • 14 Se7en Do Christmas: Step 4 – Creating Gifts – A Gift List | se7en // Dec 2, 2009 at 10:04 am

    […] Step 1: Operation Christmas Box – We are done… the closing date for Cape Town is this Sunday 29, November 2009 (pop into the link if you need last minute details). […]

  • 15 Se7en Do Christmas: Step 5 – Gift Wrapping… | se7en // Dec 4, 2009 at 7:11 am

    […] Step 1: Operation Christmas Box – We are totally done. […]

  • 16 Se7en Do Christmas: Step Six – Calendar Planning and Traditions… | se7en // Dec 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    […] Step 1: Operation Christmas Box – We are totally done. […]

  • 17 Se7en Do Christmas: Step Se7en – The Christmas Clean-Up… | se7en // Dec 23, 2009 at 1:32 am

    […] Step 1: Operation Christmas Box – Done. […]

  • 18 Se7en do Christmas… » se7en // Nov 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

    […] Week 1: Cards and Operation Christmas Box… […]

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