When my children were very small, their grandfather would give each of them money to go buy little gifts to fill a shoebox for the Samaritan's Purse shoebox ministry. It seemed like it would take a couple of hours for me to take all four of them through Target with their little lists in hand of the things they wanted to put in their boxes. They loved doing it, and the time spent in the store, adding, re-adding, and adding yet once again all of the items in the cart to make sure they had stayed within their budget, was truly a blessing to me. Seeing their little giving spirits wanting to buy gifts for children they didn't even know was a very sweet sight to see. My kids aren't small anymore, but we still enjoy taking part in this ministry. In the beginning we would use actual shoe boxes; however, now we use the small plastic boxes because it just seemed like it would be fun for the recipient of the box to actually have a nice container to keep all of his/her goodies in.
Some of the favorite things we like to put in ours are: a small baby doll for a little girl, small trucks for boys, plastic farm animals, play-dough, stickers, art supplies, bracelets, hair barettes, socks, candy, toothpaste, toothbrushes, school supplies such as pens, pencils, notebooks, and erasers, hair brushes, combs, cute bandaids, lots of candy, a small stuffed animal, hats, gloves, and little rubber duckies. When we are all finished packing the box -- which really takes a great deal of skill to make everything fit -- we then sprinkle little hard candies all around in any open spaces.
One year my youngest daughter thought it looked like such a fun gift that she said she would like one. So that year for Christmas I put together a box just for her, and she was thrilled.
The collection week this year is November 14-21st. If you aren't sure where to drop off your shoebox, you can look at their website to find a location near you. And now the shipping boxes are scanned so once they have been delivered, if you would like, they can e-mail you to let you know which country your box went to.