*My family decided to join Megan and her family in participating in Operation Christmas Child this year. It has been a fun and enjoyable learning experience for my children, something that we are sure to make a yearly tradition and lesson in giving to others. – Becca
How do I raise my kids to not only be thankful for what they have but to be generous in their giving to others?
There are a few ways that Ben and I try to instill these values and characteristics into Jonah and Maddux. One of the biggest is by encouraging conversation. I want my kids to feel like they can ask me questions about the world around them. If they see a homeless person asking for money at an intersection and ask questions I try to honestly answer them to the best of my ability. I try to remind them on a daily basis that we have so many things to be thankful for and not everyone has basic necessities.
As a family we are so blessed to have others around us that give to us. We have had the boys’ entire wardrobes handed down to us from other boy family members or friends. We have literally only had to buy a handful of clothes their whole lives. This has been an incredible blessing. And while clothes are a necessity, this has also been true with toys (which I think you will agree is NOT a necessity!). When we get more toys we have created a habit of — when things come in, things go out. I don’t mean that when we get new toys we throw the old, worn out ones away. I mean that if we get a box of toys, then I sit down with Jonah and together we pick out a box full of toys that are still in great usable condition and we give them to kids who don’t have toys. At that time, we are able to have a discussion with Jonah about the importance of giving to others. And also highlight that you don’t insult others by giving them your junk but instead give things of value to others.
Samaritan’s Purse for Operation Christmas Child. The goal is to use a simple shoebox to not only send Christmas presents but also the love of Jesus to children around the world who live in dire conditions. Children whose parents can’t afford to give them gifts. Children who are missing out on opportunities at learning because they don’t have proper school supplies. Children who don’t have basic personal hygine neccessities. Children who may never hear about the love of Jesus from anyone else.
As the giver, you pick the gender and age group of the recipent, and we have decided that we would always buy gifts for a boy that is the same age as our boys. Then we take a trip to the store and I let them pick out the items we will put in the boxes. I make sure that this trip is specifically for the shoeboxes. I don’t buy us anything and don’t let them pick out anything for themselves. We focus on what the other kids may really need and what they may want or enjoying getting for fun. This year we included items such as a hat, gloves, socks, toothbrush and paste, soap, coloring book and crayons, toy cars, footballs, candy, washclothes, bandages, etc. Since Jonah is getting a little older and can understand it a little better, this year we are going to include a picture and letter from the boys. Then before sending we take the opportunity to pray for the boy that will receive our box.
This has been an amazing opportunity to learn and give as a family. I foresee us participating in Operation Christmas Child for years to come. If you want more information on how you can participate or to find a dropoff location near you, visit Operation Christmas Child’s Hompage for details.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.