This time of year, it is easy to get caught up in the trappings of the holiday season. Even when we can retain perspective and remember that Christmas is a time for family togetherness, we sometimes become so focused on our own families that we forget there are others who will wake up on December 25 without stockings, trees or family feasts.
That is why I am writing to you today. At Samaritan’s Purse, we are organizing a Christmas appeal that will spread Christmas cheer to children around the world who find themselves with little to celebrate. Operation Christmas Child, otherwise known as the “Shoebox Appeal,” is your family’s chance to make a difference.
The concept is simple. We ask that you decorate an old shoe box and then fill it with gifts for a little boy or girl, marking it with the appropriate label. When your shoebox is ready, you can bring it to one of our many drop-off points or any participating church or school, along with a small donation to cover our overhead. Samaritan’s Purse will then ship these boxes around the world to children in dire need.
In these days of climate change, more and more worldwide communities are finding themselves faced with grim poverty. Air pollution and dramatic natural disasters are shaking these nations, and their children are some of the worst victims. This is why your participation this year is more vital than ever.
We do ask that you choose your gifts carefully and consult the list of approved items. Since gender stereotypes are universal, please only include toy vehicles if your box is for a boy. If your box is for a girl, consider items such as makeup or hairclips, as these will allow her to look especially pretty while she sits about hungry for most of January. Please do not include anything practical like clothing or food, as we only wish to provide these children with the same frivolous gifts your own children will be enjoying this holiday season.
We also ask that you check the origin of the items you are buying. We prefer toys or trinkets manufactured at least 1000 miles from wherever you live. When we ship them to Mozambique, we will be adding another 5,095 miles to their total distance traveled, but if you purchase imported goods, you can ensure the highest possible CO2 emissions for your little box of Christmas surprises. Please do your part to help support the oil companies this holiday season.
Last year, over one million shoe boxes were distributed worldwide. We need your help to ensure that this year’s campaign reaches all those in need and that no child is left empty-handed on Christmas morning. They may not have shoes, but please help us make sure they all have shoe boxes.
Randolph Q. Jones, President Samaritan’s Purse International
This is part of the Monday Mission over at Painted Maypole. Today’s mission is to write a post in the form of a charitable appeal. Please note that Samaritan’s Purse states its mission as “Meeting critical needs of victims of war, poverty, famine, disease, and natural disaster while sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ,” so presumably they sometimes send things somewhat more useful than stuffed animals.