Teaching Generosity?

As you know if you've been reading this blog for a while, we have homeschooled our kids. I often say that one of the reasons we have chosen to homeschool is that we're not as concerned about their academics as we are concerned about their character.

We have attempted to teach them kindness, thoughtfulness, hospitality, and generosity - high values for us - mostly by modeling them as best as we know how. Because, seriously, has anyone ever learned these kinds of things by being lectured?

How to pack a shoe box

During this time of year we love participating in Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child in which we thoughtfully and lovingly fill up a shoe box with gifts for a child on the other side of the world. We pray for our small recipient as we do so. We look forward to this small act of charity every year.

We get to go and shop for little items to put into the shoeboxes. As we're shopping, we think about what would bring a child joy.

"These trucks, Mom. I would have liked them as an 8 year old. Very cool."

"Let's get this little doll with an extra outfit. I think she's very sweet."

"Crayons! Modeling clay! Watercolors! YES!"

Shoeboxes are collected at various churches all over the country and then packed and disbursed to different places to kids around the world. What's very cool about this is that we get to track our shoebox to see where it ends up

From the Samaritan's Purse Website:

National Collection Week: November 14 - 21

Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.

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 by downloading the artwork to the right. 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. You can give online by using our “Follow Your Box Donation” option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.

Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop off at the Collection Center nearest you during our collection week, November 14-21.

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.

You can also send your shoe box gift to:
Samaritan’s Purse
Operation Christmas Child

801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607


Our kids have all grown up to be very generous people. I say this, not to brag but as a matter of record. Apparently the lessons were picked up somehow. My theory, then is correct. Character values are more "caught than taught."

Do you support any charities? Tell me.

{Disclaimer: Samaritan's Purse is a charity we believe in and support. I have not received any compensation from them to write this post. It's my privilege and pleasure to tell you about them.}