Giving Back – A Simple Shoebox Project

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Every holiday season, Luna and I participate in the shoebox project organized by Samaritan’s Purse. We’ve been doing this since Luna was two and we look forward to it every year. We always choose a child the same age as Luna as it teaches her the concept of giving in a fun & hands-on way. What I love about it is that Luna is really involved when choosing the items. She’ll pick something out and say “I think she will really love this!” and “oh mommy, I think she will love these sparkly socks!”. I know that whatever Luna picks out, the child she is giving it to will love it just as much!

We have a lot of fun filling up the box with all sorts of things. Our box contained a pack of underwear, a dress, clay making toy, small art tote bag with markers for colouring, a bag of santa chocolates, candy, toothbrush, snowman stuffy and a bar of soap.

The dollar store & Walmart is a good place to go for filling up your box. But Old Navy is also an excellent place for finding really cheap shirts or dresses. I go straight to the clearance section and have always found a dress on clearance for $4.99! In the past, we’ve also included a pack of socks, simple white tshirts, notebooks, pencils and tutus we’ve found at a dollar store.

I always wish Luna and I could be there to see the joy in the kids faces when they receive their presents. But back in 2011 when I did a blog post of our shoebox project, a teacher named Patty left a beautiful comment and it’s nice to get a little glimpse of the joy & excitement that happens when the boxes are received by the children. Here’s Patty’s comment:

“The children in the school where I teach receive shoeboxes like these…I’m not sure which organization sponsors the ones they receive…but I’m quite sure that wouldn’t change the reaction the children have to their treasures. They are so thrilled and excited by every item. We spread all around the room so treasures don’t get mixed up. They just bubble over…”come look, come look, look what I got.” It totally makes my Christmas year after year. I feel almost selfish to get to share such excitement with them…those of you who are filling these boxes are doing a wonderful thing…for your own children, for the recipients, and for those of us who get to share that joyful occassion with grateful, excited children. Thank you…do not get too busy to continue this celebration with your child!” — Patty

There are several organizations that do this but we do it with Samaritan’s Purse. You can find out more about it here.