And here's why - because packing a shoebox is easy AND fun. Its tangible, its not expensive, and its something that even kids can understand. And when they can help pick out gifts to fill a shoebox for a child their age, especially when those gifts include such basic things like soap and pencils, the giving to the poor becomes something direct and concrete.
Many years ago, I used to take my kid brother (he's 20 now) to the store and let him pick out gifts to fill a box for a child his age. If I lived closer to Jake, Ally, and Cameron, I'd do the same thing.
But my favorite OCC experiences are always with the Bridge Kids. Last year, they had so much fun filling shoeboxes:
We've been talking about them this year for several weeks now, and the kids have raising money to help with the cost of shipping boxes. One child donated his entire savings, and another little girl is always on the lookout for "money for the kids who don't get Christmas presents," (even going through her mom's purse!). They're stepping up, and I'm thinking of challenging the adults to try to out-give them!
Check out more stories about Operation Christmas Child here: