Anyone ever heard of Operation Christmas Child?
I hadn’t, until I was listening to the radio online earlier this week and heard the song “Give This Christmas Away” by Matthew West featuring Amy Grant. I loved the song so I YouTubed it and watched the first video that came up. But this wasn’t just any old music video.
It was a video with Matthew and Amy, as well as some Veggie Tales (woot!) and adorable African children. The children were opening presents and were just about the most joyful little guys I have ever seen. At the end of the video it showed an organization called Samaritan’s Purse and listed a website, so I went to the website (don’t you just love technology!) and found that I could send a Christmas present to one of these children overseas! I didn’t even have to go to the store! I could make it online and pay a small $35 to make a child’s Christmas. So that’s what I did.
I made a box for a 5-9 year old boy and got to pick some of the stuff out, so I chose a little toy car, some shoes and socks, and a harmonica! He will also get the basic essentials like a toothbrush, soap, a notebook, and a lot of other “necessities” that he might otherwise never get. I included a note telling him that I love him, and Merry Christmas, and a picture of me with my 7 year-old nephew, Jack, who was my inspiration for choosing a 5-9 year old boy. If my little overseas buddy is even half as crazy as my little Jackman, he’s going to need that harmonica and he’s going to run those shoes ragged.
After I paid and the package was sent off, I felt such a sense of joy. Here I am, an 18 (almost 19) year-old in America, attending my dream school, in the top 10% of the world, and I can reach out and help a child in need for a measly $35. That’s less than a new pair of jeans or a couple of sweaters at Target. I can do that. The whole thing took only five minutes and if you’re interested, you can visit their website. I so encourage you to send a package if you can-they sent over 8 million presents last year. Maybe this year we can make it 9!
As the song goes:
Give this Christmas away
If there’s love in your heart,
Don’t let it stay there.
Give this Christmas away.
And your life will be changed
By the gifts you receive
When you give this Christmas away.
Happy Advent everyone!