Open arms

Serving others

Packing an Operation Christmas Child shoebox is a great way to teach your children to care for others.

Operation Christmas Child is organized by Samaritan’s Purse, and gives you the opportunity to pack a shoebox with small gifts and toiletries for a needy child.

This activity is ideal for children because they can relate to the needs of a child their own age and they enjoy choosing the gift items. You don’t have to wait for the Christmas season: you can pack a box any time of the year and tuck it away until November when the boxes are collected in communities across North America.

Alternatively, you can choose another way to serve others as a family, so you can be like the “wife of noble character” in Proverbs 31:20 who not only cares for the needs of her household, but also “opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.”

Whatever you choose to do, affirm your children with one of the Bible verses provided here to let them know that God is honoured when they care for others.

These discussion questions will help you introduce your children to the idea of helping those less fortunate.

Questions for discussion
  • How would you feel on Christmas morning if there were no gifts to open?
  • What would you want to pack in a shoebox for a child your age?
  • If you were packing some gifts for baby Jesus, what would you put in the box?
  • Why is it important for us to share with people who are poor?
  • How does it make you feel when you think about a child opening the shoebox you packed?
Key concepts

Caring for the poor and needy is an expression of our love for God and shows others that we have God’s love in our hearts. The Bible tells us that whatever acts of kindness we do for anyone else is as though we have done it for Jesus. When we care for those in need, we honour God.

Relevant Scripture

Proverbs 14:31 “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors Him.

Matthew 25:40 “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.’