Just How Far Can Your Christmas Gift To Charity Travel and How Much Can It Really Mean?

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This time of the year is a time where most people catch the spirit of giving. With thanksgiving around the corner I am reminded of the less fortunate, the ones who would kill to have our mediocre life we think we are living today. The holidays are a hard time to many especially to those whose holidays bears no distinction from the rest of the year. The ones that are hit the most are the innocent children in disadvantaged conditions. Those children around the world who will inevitably read about the joy that Christmas should bring them, the gifts that the famous Santa drops at the doorstep of their fictional friends but never to think of this dream becoming a reality of their own. A part of my childhood was spent in similar conditions, as a child I enjoyed reading and I discovered the worlds afar through any book that I could get my hands on. Through those books I did learn about the Santa stories, I read about the famous “papa Noel” the big hearted white bearded man who was the focus of many of the Christmas stories. I read about how he would come down the chimney and reward the good did of children that year, I read about the cookies and milk left at the table for the big guy, I read about the presents to be expected in the morning, but I always knew deep inside that those stories were designed for the other children, the ones who were lucky enough to be born in lives of abundance.

Millions of children today are reading the same books and living the same reality that I did. They are watching us prepare for the holidays, hearing about our anticipated gifts to come, listening to us recite the list of what we want for Christmas and they will unfortunately still be there the day after thanksgiving when we complain about how much turkey we had the previous day.
When I first got to the US one of the traditions that I enjoyed during Christmas time was what my church at the time was a day called the shoes box packing Saturday, all yearlong we were given opportunities to bring the gifts that will be packed one Saturday closer to Christmas as part of a ministry called operation Christmas child. It is when we gathered together as a congregation and put together what we deemed to be the perfect gift for a child in need. We carefully packed everything from toys to pens and pencils to books, toothbrushes and clothes. This was a much cherished time for me because I knew that at one time in my life I had once been the kid at the receiving end of that box. I knew the joy that was wrapped in each one of those simple boxes and I would relive the same joy every time while packing it.

For many families that gift is all the school supplies that they would get all year long. The one pack of pencils that is in that box is to be shared among the five or six siblings. The one book they got will be the one they will all learn to read the English language from. The small toothpaste and the little body lotion will be spread over the next few months and the one t shirt will be a Sunday best for them; to many that was the best Christmas that Santa could give them,

I know many people are reluctant to give, in fear of their gift not landing at the right destination, but that should not limit us from doing what is dear to our hearts. My experience of receiving a box all the way in the heart of Africa is possibly not what you feel called to do this season, but this is just one of the many opportunities to give that are available to you.  Refugee children, immigrant children, hungry american children are all around us. UNICEF reports that there are over 28 million child refugees who fled conflict, and an additional 20 million child migrants who left their homes in search of better lives (1). Also according to No Kid Hungry, 1 in 6 kids in America doesn’t get the food they need every day (2). It is a no brainer that they will probably not get any present or special thanksgiving meal these holidays.  I believe there is more than enough opportunities for anyone willing to catch the spirit of giving this year. Starting from a neighbor you well know can use a little company, to the immigrant around the corner who has no family around to share this holidays, all the way to a child in the farthest part of the world. Everywhere you look there is a child who is waiting to receive his/her dream gift from Santa, except that Santa this year is going to work through YOU.

With LOVE,

Denise S.

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29 thoughts on “Just How Far Can Your Christmas Gift To Charity Travel and How Much Can It Really Mean?”

  1. Incredibly important post, thanks for writing this. To put it simply, Christmas is a holiday for the privileged and not everyone gets to enjoy it.

  2. Thanks so much for highlighting ways that we can be generous and thoughtful to others during the Christmas season! It can get so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle that we forget about these things. It’s important to teach our kids about charity as well!

  3. I’m a huge fan of operation Christmas child. We did shoeboxes every year when I was a kid…I need to get back to doing them now, especially since I have a child of my own. I would love for her to feel the joy that one gets from giving to a child in need.

  4. “…they don’t have the luxury to ask for what they want, they are striving to get what they need.”

    Your insights are invaluable and I am so grateful that you shared this with us. My husband and I are writing a letter to family this year outlining the idea you are presenting – give to others. I’m nervous but excited. It’s time we better understand the potential curse that comes with gluttony.

    Thanks so much.


  5. This is so beautiful! I had only just heard of this Charity, this year. It is definitely something I want to participate in!

  6. I do this when I can, I’m single and finances have been a lot tight this year. I do plan on getting myself back on track for next year; it breaks my heart to think of those children that are hungry and needing different things. I think about it all year, it brings tears to my eyes.

  7. We had so much fun doing operation Christmas child last year. This year we’re focusing our attentions on the local community with giving trees. My children have been saving their birthday money and chore money and even did a few fundraisers to buy toys for kids in need! ❤️❤️❤️ I can’t wait to pass it on. Christmas should surely be about giving and not so much about worrying about where or how but just about giving- if you don’t want to donate overseas look at your own friends and family, there is surely someone struggling who you can help no further than that. ❤️

    1. Awww am glad you are teaching your little ones this joy giving act, am sure they will grow up to appreciate it even more. it is true that there is a need anywhere you look. thanks for stopping by.

  8. This really touched me, especially these words:
    “they don’t have the luxury to ask for what they want, they are striving to get what they need.”

    Last night I spread several magazines across our coffee table. All of them geared to gifting families encouragement through things they need. Praying that as these needs are met God would
    be glorified.

  9. I love your take on so many things. Even though we come from polar worlds, we share so many feelings. We were quite poor when i was growing up but even then i had a treasures worth more than most people in the world. Reading your words, I will try to be a little less sceptical about the organizations that ask for donations and believe that somewhere someone will feel my heart when I give.

Please leave your comments and input below, thank you.