Samaritans Purse: Operation Christmas Child

(Image ©Samaritans Purse 2015 via

Have you ever given someone a gift, and literally watched their eyes fill with delight? I’ve been privileged enough to witness this a few times in my life, and it’s magical. I was blessed with a mother who has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known. When I was young, she worked as a nurse. She was the special kind of nurse who would become a part of whatever family she was working with. I remember on many occasions riding along with her to the store to buy groceries, then taking said groceries to the house of someone I’d never seen before. They would meet her at the door, see what she had done, then their eyes would fill with tears of both joy and sorrow and they would hug her and cry. My mom would stand there as long as they needed her, and cry with them. I had no idea what was happening nor did I know what that person was facing. But I knew that whatever my mom just did had changed that person.

Since the holiday season is quickly approaching (10 weeks until Christmas!?) I thought now is the perfect time to mention Samaritans Purse. This organization has numerous relief projects, ranging from agricultural to construction to disaster relief.  But one of it’s most unique projects is Operation Christmas Child. In this project, you pack a shoe box with toys, treats, school supplies, and even hygiene products. Once your box is packed, it gets collected and shipped off to children around the globe. You can track your box to find out where it goes, and even send a letter along with it and maybe get a response back! Included with each gift is a small, colorful book about the Gospel. While I realize not everyone is religious, I think one thing we can all relate to is hope, which is something these boxes can give. It’s amazing how just a little bit of hope for something better can change a persons life.

One of my favorite aspects of this project is the opportunity for someone to receive a gift with the same amount of joy and delight as described above. Some of these children will not have this kind of opportunity again. To be able to give something like that is, truly, priceless!

If you want to follow them via social media, here are a few accounts:

The national collection week for these packed shoe boxes is November 16-23, which leaves you a good 3-4 weeks to get them packed! You can find all kinds of resources to help you out here. A little love goes a long ways, sometimes all around the world. Cheers!


If there is one thing that tugs on my heart strings daily, it is children. Beautiful, young lives with open futures and unlimited possibilities. The problem is that situations beyond their control often cause pain, anguish, and suffering to children. This happens everywhere. There is probably a young child in your neighborhood who will go to bed hungry tonight. There are many children in your city who will be abused this week. There are thousands in our nation who will be bullied by their peers this month. And there are so many more in the world who will be hungry, uneducated, un-treated for health conditions, displaced by conflict, and so much more.

I hope to introduce you to many different charities and non-profits who can provide support and aid to children in each of the above mentioned situations. However, first I’m going to start with one of my favorites: UNICEF.

As stated on their website, their goal is to support and aid children around the globe and to help provide them with the safety, health, and opportunities they deserve:

“As world leaders set out a roadmap for human progress over the next 15 years, it is vital that every child is included, and that children everywhere are at the heart of the new global agenda.”

While it seems like such a giant undertaking, they have actually made huge strides in many of their projects. For example, they have supported major campaigns to help immunize 3 million children! They also support and target such things as education, emergency aid, and child development. While many of us prefer to “stay local” don’t forget that even a small donation of $10 or $20 to initiatives like UNICEF can have a huge impact on a child’s life.

One of my favorite ways to keep up with charities is to follow them on twitter. Short and sweet updates about what they are doing and how you can help. They have MANY accounts that are country specific, city specific, even campaign specific! Depending on where your passions are, you can follow and support where you like. Here are a few of my favorites to get you started:

While I know there are hundreds of thousands of charities out there, it’s always good to know what is going on and how you can help. We don’t have to give to everything, but there are so many other ways we can support those who need our help. We all share this world together, why not try to make it a better place while we are here?! Cheers!

*Photo ©UNICEF/NYHQ2015-2391/Romenzi (here)