Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Have Been Excited To Share This News For Months...

This is the Throwback Thursday I have been waiting for.  Back in September, I shared one of my most powerful Christmas memories and how it inspired me to give back throughout the year.

In short, I asked for your help in collecting donations for Operation Shoebox, a movement through the charity Samaritan's Purse, that on Christmas morning provides a shoebox of goodies for children around the world that will receive nothing else.

The response was incredible.  I was blown away by the abundance of items we collected.  Clothing, toys, books, art supplies, personal hygiene products and musical instruments.  Some of my favorite donations included plastic glow in the dark stars & animals, dry erase boards with markers, and bags of wildflower seeds.  Several people shopped with their children and shared stories of using the experience as a lesson on giving back.  For those that didn't have the time to shop or ship, I received Paypal donations, for which I purchased the items we were short on.

When I set out to do this, I had no idea if I would receive a thing from anyone other than my mom.  In the end, I can only hope that those who participated were half as inspired by their experience as I was.

Shortly before Christmas morning, I received emails saying that our tracked shoeboxes were delivered to children in Mongolia and Panama.

Like with most projects, I waited until the very last minute to pack the plastic tubs.  As overwhelmed as I was, the sight of this helped (and made my daughters jaw's drop):

All Puzzles & Card Games
In the end, our total donation weighed more than I did (which is saying a lot).

Thank you to everyone that participated, and to those that were inspired to give on their own.  I am grateful to have each of you here on this journey with me, and hope that together we can continue to make a difference.

To those interested in learning more about Operation Shoebox or the Christmas gift that changed my life forever, please check this out.  I am proud to say it is the most read post on my blog.  Thank you for giving me that gift.