Tuesday, July 30, 2013

You've Got 109 Days To Collect On The Greatest Gift I Can Give You

Sometimes the most rewarding journeys are those that have no clear destination.

I set out on such an adventure last September when I asked each of you to help me make a difference in the world by donating a small holiday gift to a child who would receive nothing else on Christmas morning.

I had no idea where the journey would lead, but the outcome was extraordinary.  I received packages of crayons, coloring books, puzzles, stickers, toothbrushes, washcloths and even wild flower seeds.  As the collection deadline drew near, last minute monetary donations came in via PayPal, which I used to purchase socks, underwear and clothing.  Together we donated nearly 200 pounds of gifts to Operation Christmas Child via Samaritan’s Purse.

But for me, the greatest gift was having my own daughters, nearly 3 and 5 at the time, assist in the packing, wrapping and delivering of boxes.  A close second was receiving notification from the charity just before the holiday that our gifts were en route to children in both Panama & Mongolia.  I couldn't wait to share the news with each of you...

Here's a glimpse at what Christmas morning looks like in my house.

If you could do something so simple to create a smile so grand, wouldn't you?

Well, I can help.  The idea behind Operation Christmas Child is simple.  Pack a shoebox (or plastic tub of the same size) with items for a child in need.  You choose the sex, age range and what to give.  Then drop it off at one of numerous locations nationwide.  You can choose where you’d like it to be delivered, domestically or overseas, and track it’s arrival.

I am asking for the same deal as last year… I’ll buy the plastic (reusable) tubs, divide the gifts by age and sex, pack them, wrap them and deliver them.  There is a $7 shipping donation suggested per box, which I will cover, but I’d love for you to help me collect the items to fill 'em up.  No donation is too small or large, as long as each individual item fits into a standard size shoebox.  (I’ve listed some suggestions below.)

Every box we fill is one more smile created.  And while the holidays may seem far away, I urge you to get into the spirit a bit early.  

This year, instead of just celebrating the season of giving, celebrate being able to give…

Now, some housekeeping.

* Click here to check out Operation Christmas Child.

* There’s a list of suggested items on their site.  I have included personal items like soap, toothpaste & toothbrush, shampoo, combs, band aids, socks, underwear, flip flops, sunglasses and sun hats.  Or something a little more fun like flashcards, toy cars, crayons, stickers, a yo-yo, a jump rope, puzzles, coloring books, sidewalk chalk or a personal holiday card.  The possibilities are endless, and stores like Big Lots are a great resource.

* If you’d like to donate, please email me directly at KLPM16@gmail.com for address information.  (I am also happy to provide proof of last year’s donation.)

* Collection Week begins November 18th, so please don’t delay!  Thank you (109 days) in advance... and Happy Holidays!