Today, we went to Target and filled 2 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan's Purse. We included a note in each, made a small donation for shipping, and I will be dropping the packed boxes off at a local church. Samaritan's Purse will ship and distribute the boxes to children around the world, including refugees and flood victims. The video on their website is both gut-wrenching and inspiring. Most of us don't have the means to save any of these children from their circumstances, but we can make their lives a little brighter. (And yes, if the "Christmas" and "Samaritan" didn't clue you in, it IS a Christian organization, and each child WILL be receiving a booklet of bible stories with each box, so if you'd prefer a secular charity, this ain't it.)
The Nugget helped us by deciding which particular book/pair of socks/etc. to buy, then put our items in the cart, and pushed the cart to the checkout. Although he is pretty young to understand poverty, we explained that today we were picking out some toys for friends who didn't have any.
If you wanted to get in on the action, The Dollar Spot had the perfect filler items! Here's what we included:
In both boxes:
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Wood clapper toy (like a castanet)
Boy age 2-4 (fewer items but they were larger!):
Tin with stickers
Wood fire truck
Girl age 5-9:
Color and activity book
Magic towel (washcloth that comes in a pill form but expands in water)
I debated whether it was "holier-than-thou" of me to make this post (and the Baking GALS one), but then I decided that since I have struggled with finding doable, affordable service projects as a SAHM with a toddler, that there were likely others in the same boat, so that's why I'm choosing to share the service projects we do :) Thanks to my friend AP for finding and sharing this project!
Does anyone else know of other inexpensive, simple ways to serve that are inclusive of small children? I can't, for example, dole out hot soup at a shelter, tutor grade schoolers, or volunteer at a NARHA stable with a toddler in tow. And we'd prefer projects that would cost $25 or less. Please comment with your ideas!