I don't ever talk about religion, I feel it is a very personal subject. I do post every year about filling my shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, because I think it is such an awesome program. Google it if you have never heard of it, it's run by Samaritan's Purse. I pick up little things throughout the year that I get either for free or next to free, and put them in shoe boxes for OCC. Last year I did two boxes I think, this year I was able to fill four boxes for under $18!! We made two boxes for the 2-4 age group, and two for the 10-14 age group, one girly and one boyish. In the little kiddo boxes we put puzzles, crayons, barrettes, johnson's soap buddies, toothbrush/floss/paste, puppets, sidewalk chalk, mittens, small playdohs, books, mini mr. potato heads and little coloring books. In the bigger kid ones we put things like composition books, pencils and cases, little lego sets, deodorant, toothpaste/brush/floss, games of jax and small cranium games, crayons, small playdohs, starburst, knit hats, and one box got a dreamcatcher I won online.
Seriously, this is so easy and it's fun for me to think I'm making a less fortunate child's holiday season happier! We certainly can't afford to donate money, but I can afford the shoebox items thanks to couponing! I got the playdoh's free on clearance with a kohl's coupon after halloween, the composition books for $.15 each, crayons for $.25 each, puzzles came free with other purchases, soap buddies were free with coupons, tooth items were all free with coupons, puppets came free with purchase at Ikea, mittens were $.25 each at Target, pencil cases were $.25 at the Dollar Store, knit hats were purchased online for $1.79. It's overwhelming if I try to fill a box all at once, but once I got it in my head to just keep adding things to the box as the months went by the box quickly filled with next to free items! The back to school sales are awesome to find items for the boxes, as well as the right after a holiday sales.
Hopefully my family understands that while these items didn't cost us much they mean something to another child! I think the twins get it, they thought the boxes I made for kids their age were "awesome" and while I don't think they understood the "less fortunate" part, they totally got that we were making the boxes for other kids who didn't get presents like they do. They wanted to add some of their hot wheels to the boxes! Big Kid was impressed with how little I spent, and after I showed him the website for OCC I could see he was happy I had filled four boxes to do our part :)