This is how one shoe box, 1-2 hours and €10-€15 can change somebody’s life for ever.
The charity, The Samaritan’s Purse organise a collection and distribution of decorated shoe boxes filled with little essential items and cheap little toys to children all around the world; most of which have never received a present before in their life. This is a great project and I really hope more people can be involved in it here in Portugal too. Every year over 10,000,000 are sent a year, but less than 1,000 come from this country.
Introduction to Operation Christmas Child
This is a project which has been happening every Christmas in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zeland since 1991. It is run by a Christian charity called the Samaritan’s Purse.
Every year people fill a shoe box with small items and they take them to small very poor communities or communities that have been hurt by war and give them to children who literally have nothing.
For most they have never received a Christmas present in their life. The charity also brings any of relief they can for the community.
As it is a Christian organisation is also acts as a missionary project too.
This seems not too well known outside of the countries mentioned but it is a massive ordeal. They deliver over 10 million boxes every year. Currently a total of over 100 million children have received one of these presents over the past 24 years.
This video from the appeal in Canada this year sums it up well:
This one explains the history well too:
I will keep this short as a picture is literally worth a thousand words. However if you see the videos of these children getting these presents I am sure it will make you cry. These are such simple gifts of pens, paper, toothbrushes, small cheap toys but they seem happier and more excited than most children in Europe would be about getting a new playstation or similar.
This 30 second video says it well about a boy getting a box in Angola
This is a video about boxes from Bedford, England going to Ukraine and Liberia
This is a particularly touching about a boy who received a box in the Phillipines
There are hundreds of videos about the stories of many people and countries who have received these boxes, just seach ‘Operation Christmas Child’ on YouTube.
How They Change Lives
It is not just how they make the children feel when they get them but also how it effects the rest of their lives. These are stories about adults who received a box in the early/mid 1990s and how it changed their lives. Some of which have been adopted by American and Candian charity workers.
How To Be Involved
The Portuguese involvement seems to be through the Anglican church and they seem to be collecting boxes this week. The deadline is 30th November.
This video shows you exactly what you need to do:
Personally it took me about 2 hours and managed to get everything in a Chinese shop. I wrapped and packed it front of the TV.
The boxes need to go to the Anglican church in Estoril. However I too am trying to get my 2 boxes there so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help it get to the right place.