I thought now would be an appropriate time to do this particularly with Christmas quickly creeping upon us. Around this time of year I like to think about how to do things for others that are less fortunate than myself. One of my favourite ways to help out and give back since I was child at school has to be Operation Christmas Child. Anyone can do it, not just us bloggers (although there is an emphasis on bloggers this year jumping on board to help promote it). This year is the Samaritans 20th year of running the programme and they have brought joy to thousands of children who have been able to open a box full of wonders. These boxes go to children in orphanages and refugee camps across the world giving children gifts they would never normally have dreamed to receive. So how can you get involved?
Step 1: Find a shoebox- wrap the lid and box separately in wrapping paper.
Step 2: Choose whether your box will be for a boy or girl and then the relevant age group (2-4, 5-9, 10-14) you can download your girl/ boy sticker from the website here.
Toys: Bear, soft toy, tennis ball, finger puppet, jigsaw, yo-yo, building blocks, small musical instrument, trucks, cars, dolls, clip on earrings, etc...
Education Items: Calculator, felt pens, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, eraser, colouring book, notepad, picture or puzzle book, chalk, pencil case, stickers, etc.
Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, hair clips, bar of soap, flannel, etc.
Other Items: Sweets (sell-by date to be at least March of the following year), gloves, scarf, sunglasses, cap, hat, bangles, necklaces etc.
All gifts should be new, please include items from each category.
No Food - particularly chocolate (non-chocolate sweets are allowed)
No medicine - or vitamins of any kind
No war related items - toy guns, play soldiers or knives of any kind
No clothing - other than listed above
No fragile items - e.g. glass containers, mirrors
No liquids - including blow bubbles, shampoo, bubble bath, toiletry sets or aerosols
No dangerous items - sharp objects, scissors or razors
No books with many words
Nothing of a political
Step 4: Make your donation, it's recommended to include £3 per box to cover shipping costs, plus if you donate online you can track where your box ends up!
Step 5: Secure with a rubber band. Drop off your shoebox to the nearest drop off point between November 1st to November 18th. Click here to find your local drop off point.
That's a brief overview of the cause but if you'd like to know more check out their website http://operationchristmaschild.org.uk/ it has plenty of useful information and even some of the stories from children receiving the boxes, just to give you a glimpse of what they mean to the child. I'm going to get organising with mine but will post up pictures of my box and what I include so keep checking back!