It’s the simple things that make me proud as a parent – when my oldest daughter automatically grabs her little sister’s hand to help her down the steps, when my middle daughter tells her big sister that she can have first choice for a fun treat one night, it’s my three year old wrapping her arms around her sisters and telling them how much she loves them, and it’s also the way all three of them hurt if another hurts, and then they can make each other laugh with a simple joke.
These are the easy things aren’t they. The simple kindness and compassion and giving in your own family. It’s how we navigate our daily lives together…through love, modeling good behaviors, and thinking outside of ourselves.
Some say that children are born selfish and enter their toddler years with the mantra ‘me, me, me’ – but I don’t believe that. I believe all children are born naive and open and pure while just asking for simple things like love, nourishment and a way to make a difference.
That is what I teach my children – How can you give of yourself? Who needs something more than you do? Did you help someone today? Did you smile for someone today? Did you just give someone a hug because it looked like they needed one? Who did you encourage today?
Then it happens – they do it on their own. They help. They are not alone. They get it. And pretty soon you see your kids, your little kids, taking small and sometimes big initiatives to help others – their sisters, their friends, their parents, the neighbors. And pretty soon their community.
And now…the world.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming for a child – a child so small – to think about how big this world of ours is. I mean they would get lost just trying to navigate our neighborhood, so how could we ever explain the world.
But we do, in simple steps and simple words, to let our children know that while they are just a small part of the big big world, what they can do is absolutely huge in daily gestures of good-will and kindness. And we tell them about the girls in developing countries who are also nine years old and have so many of the same feelings and emotions that they do. They are just girls. Just beautiful girls all over the world.
When I told my daughters about Operation Christmas Chlld, I truly have never seen them so excited. They all planned to pack their own shoe-box for a girl around their ages. Yet by the time we left the store we found we had enough items to pack double that amount. I love the joy they have shopping and giving to others.
Operation Christmas Child is a non-profit organization that inspires people to pack shoe-box girls for chlldren in developing countries each year. Over 100 million children have been reached by this amazing program since 1993.
We need to teach our children about generosity and giving year round – locally and globally – and this is an amazing way that even the smallest of children can help. I ask you today to pack your own shoe-box for a child this season.
Here’s a video we made about packing our shoe-boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Won’t you join us? It’s easy! How to Build-A-Box–
Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container.
Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label and mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.
Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child.
Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs.
Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop it off at the
collection center nearest you during our collection week, November 12-19, 2012.
For locations and hours of collection visit our Drop-Off Locations page where you can find the nearest place to take your shoe box by entering your ZIP Code or you can call 1-800-353-5949.
To learn more information you can also find Operation Christmas Child on Facebook and you can follow the tweets using hashtag #OCCgiveback
This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.
BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.