Walking into our office you may think we’ve lost our marbles or have lost track of the current season we are in. We know EXACTLY what you’re thinking when you walk through the front door and are greeted by a tall, bright and cheery Christmas tree. You’re probably disgusted and are bracing yourself to hear Christmas carols blasting through our radios. Don’t worry – we are aware that Thanksgiving hasn’t even begun to make its debut and Santa is still working off last year’s cookies BUT we are preparing for Christmas across the world and that takes time!
Operation Christmas Child is a country wide event/organization that expands beyond our country into the nations and small villages across the world that are just a dot on the map. Here at Green Valley this has been one of our favorite ways to focus on giving back to others. Not only is this something we participate in as a company but we also thoroughly enjoy including our customers in this effort.
Every year, we host as a drop off location for Operation Christmas Child Shoe boxes. We start this process as early as possible in October and this year we will collect through November 23. This will give you the opportunity to pack a shoe box for a child (boy or girl, your choice) as well as pick an age group. Fill the box with school supplies, hygiene items such as toothbrushes, combs, deodorant, band aids, etc. Add some fun things like soccer balls, baby dolls, jump ropes, coloring books, etc. Your options are endless when it comes to packing a shoe box for a child who may not be given anything else to open during the Christmas season.
We do encourage you to check out the Operation Christmas Child website as there are things that are not allowed in the boxes. It helps to stay mindful of these prohibited items because before these boxes are shipped to another country they are processed and checked thoroughly. You want to make sure your shoe box is packaged properly so it makes its way to a special child filled with the items you strategically picked.
They also encourage you to place $9 in each shoe box to cover the shipping costs. These boxes travel by truck, train, plane, over waters and deserts and even on the backs of camels so you can imagine that a little shipping cost may be involved for such drastic measures! If this is not possible, don’t let that stop you from turning in your box. Samaritans Purse will cover these costs if you are unable.
Your shoe box may be filled with goodies and temporary items but the shoe box serves as a greater purpose. While the rest of the world may be packing these shoe boxes, volunteer National Leadership teams are equipping pastors around the country to serve in Outreach Programs. The goal is to incorporate the message of the Gospel as they distribute boxes in villages, orphanages, schools, churches or homes. It is their hope to include a book called “The Greatest Gift” into each box which tells the story of our savior Jesus Christ being born on Christmas morning. After all, He really is the greatest gift given to all mankind. It is also their hope that the message in each box will reach the heart of a child that will then continue to transport the message of the Gospel to friends, family members and their community creating a ripple effect that will eventually take Jesus Christ into the outermost parts of the world.
If filling a shoe box is out of your budget but you still want to help, even a $5, $10 or $15 donation will help us to purchase items to fill shoe boxes. If you’re interested in filling a whole shoe box but shopping just isn’t your thing, we’ve also got you covered there. We have a team of happy Green Valley Elves who will take your Christmas shopping up for you. You can talk to Sherri or Laura at the front desk and find the best way for you to donate money.
We know it’s not the season and we promise to keep Santa at bay as long as possible but we really hope that you will understand our premature Christmas talk and decorations and consider joining us in making sure that Christmas is understood, felt and heard by all.
Tis’ ALMOST the season, ya’ll.