Starting on Monday, November 16th, National Collection Week for the 2009 Operation Christmas Child shoe box campaign gets underway. Lots of people will be packing boxes this year, so much so that Samaritan’s Purse hopes that more than 8 million children will be reached around the world.
One new feature that may be of interest to contributors is that if you make an online donation to cover the cost of shipping your shoe box, then you can also get the tracking code to learn where your gift is going. Samaritan’s Purse asks donors to contribute $7 per packed box to help defray shipping costs and if you make that donation online you can print out a tracking label to be taped to your shoe box.
That label features what is called an EZ Give barcode which connects to your email address. You will receive an e-mail telling you the destination of your gift, along with information about Operation Christmas Child in that country. If your boxes go to more than one country, you will receive more than one e-mail.
A pretty nifty idea, right? I think so. We already had our labels affixed to the four shoe boxes we pack when I discovered this feature, but it was an easy thing to make payment online and print out new labels to replace the ones we had already selected. This was important for us because when a gift is sent overseas, we’d like for our children to understand a bit more about the conditions in that country.
Though our children may not know specifically who received their gift, we can then follow up that email to talk about what these children experience in their every day lives. Importantly, we can pray for them.
I’ve added a video of a shoe box campaign in the Republic of Georgia where children caught in the crossfire of a regional war were helped. For many children, the shoe box gift is their only gift at Christmas, perhaps the brightest gift they’ve receive all year.
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