Operation Christmas Child

Every year my workplace gets involved with Operation Christmas Child. To take part you simply have to fill a shoe box full of little toys, sweets and gifts and wrap in Christmas paper. The shoe box is then sent to disadvantaged children in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. You can choose to do a box for a boy or a girl, and you have 3 age ranges to choose from: 2-4 years, 5-9 years and 10-14 years old.

I think this is such a lovely idea, and last year I took part for the first time and did a shoe box for a 5-9 year old girl. I filled it full of little girly gifts like dolls, hair clips, a teddy, colouring book and pencils etc. I also opted to have my box 'scanned'. You print off a barcode when you register online and put this in your box. It's then scanned at its destination and you get an email telling you what part of the world your box went to. Last year my box went to Ukraine.

The boxes really provide so much joy for these children. There are lots of videos of kids on the OCC website receiving and opening their boxes, and they are so happy and excited! It's so nice to take part and help make Christmas special for these children.

I decided to get involved again this year and do 2 boxes. I decided to do one for a boy and one for a girl. The boy box I chose to be 5-9 years old, and the girl box 10-14 years. I read online that a lot of the older children are often left out at these shoe box gift giving days, as the younger age groups are a lot more popular for xmas box makers. I thought this was really sad so decided to do one for an older girl. Next year I'm going to do another teen box as it was so fun to put together and it's very sad to think these kids don't get as many boxes as the little ones!

Here are the contents of both boxes. I tried to cram as much in each as I could, so there's a lot of stuff!

For the boy I got lots of little cool toys from a local children's toy shop - whoopee cushion, bouncy ball, puzzles, sticker books etc! My favourite thing from the boy box is the Super Mario pez dispenser! So cool, I think I need to get one for myself!

For the girl I got lots of stuff I would have liked as a 10-14 year old girl - so lots of hair accessories, jewellery, lip balm, stationery, nice socks, compact mirror etc

You can also include handmade gifts, so if any of you are particularly crafty, these boxes can be a fun project to fill. I decided to make both drawstring bags. I used blue floral material for the girl and a cartoony countryside train material for the boy.

They were very simple and quick to make, and are a nice addition to the box!

Here is the boy's box all wrapped up (I've already taken the girl box into work so no pics for this, but I wrapped it in a similar way!)

If any of you fancy doing this, head over to the OCC website to take part!



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