Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our Shoebox Gift

I first heard of the ministry of Samaritan's Purse when I was a kid and my grandmother would make up a shoebox for a needy child every year.  I remember thinking it was so cool that a kid in a far away country was getting that box full of fun goodies!  Fast forward to when I was a college student.  I made up my first shoebox with my boyfriend (now hubby) and it was such a blessing that I decided I would do it every year.  Sending a shoebox gift has become a yearly tradition for my husband and I and this year we started teaching Hayden about it.  Though it is hard to explain to a 2 year old that we are buying gifts for a child that doesn't have many (if any) toys but he will understand it more each year.  It's never too early to teach our children to give to others! 
I am so glad that our church supports this ministry every year.  It is so fun to see so many getting involved and excited about sending the shoeboxes.  And we don't have to worry about finding a drop-off location, we just bring our box to church!
So Sunday, we picked up this pre-printed shoebox to fill with goodies!
(you can use any regular sized shoebox or the clear plastic ones with lids as well!)
And last night we took Hayden to shop for the 'boy.'  We chose to get gifts for a 2-4 year old boy since that is the age that Hayden is and that way he could help us choose the gifts.  Over the years, we have done different age groups for both genders.
Hayden was excited to 'go shopping for the boy' even though I know he didn't fully understand what we were doing.

(though I wasn't planning on it, we let him choose something for himself {the toy story doll, Jesse, that is in his other hand.} once we got there because I quickly realized he was not going to be able to pick things for the box until we let him get something...but after that, he was great at helping choose several gifts for the box and didn't try to keep them for himself or get upset when we told him that they were not his toys.)

It helps to take your shoebox into the store with you so that you can see exactly how much you can fit in the box!
We picked out toys, candy and other things until our box was full.
And this year, I paid the postage for our box online so that I could print a barcode and track our shoebox!  We will be able to see what country our box went to this year!
I encourage all of you that if you don't already, find a worthy charity to donate to this Christmas season.  No matter what budget you're on, we all have something we can give.  We are on a very tight, one-income budget but we don't ever go without and our son always has Christmas and birthday gifts (and plenty of them) so I don't let myself think that we can't afford to donate, even during the years when we don't have as much as previous years.  This donation is small for sure but it makes a big difference to a needy child and that warms my heart.  I hope that in years to come, we can afford to make a bigger difference in others' lives during the holidays.  It truly does the heart good :)

All photos taken by Kristen (blog author) unless otherwise stated. Do not copy/save or print without permission. Thank you!

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