Operation Shoe Box

12 Nov

Most of the time I think … Oh crap…what now?

I see those flyers in my son’s school cubby and I think what other activity or fundraiser are they trying to get me into? I have no need in buying wrapping paper. I’ve got plenty from last year and the year before that. Plus, I use bags. I have no need in trying to get my friends and family to buy magazine subscriptions. They probably get all the magazines they need and if they don’t, they probably don’t want to get them, because they hang out at Barnes & Noble like everyone else and read them for free … you know while they’re drinking their lattes.

Image via SamaritansPurse.org

So when I took the flyers out of the cubby and tossed them in the car, I really didn’t take a good look at them until the weekend, when I was cleaning out the car. And then I saw it: Operation Shoebox. Well, it was actually called Operation Christmas Child, but my son thought Operation Shoe Box sounded much better, considering the shoe box was flying. Plus it sounded more secret-agent like.

And so … it was on.

During these past couple of months I have been diligently invested in my own Happiness Project and trying my best to rise from the depths of crappiness with blogging, writing, humor, outings, adventures, cooking projects, field trips, and stay-cations with my kids — trying to squeeze as much juice out of these pinche lemons. But then when I saw this flyer, I thought … Holy Crap! You can brighten some kid’s crappy day and give them that bad-ass-triathlon-Warrior-Dash-cartwheel feeling.

The Guats box

So I did … And Operation Shoebox was a go.

Basically it’s a goodwill project through the Samaritan’s Purse. They ship shoe boxes filled with toys to impoverished kids ages 2 to 14. They cover all the continents. All you have to do is find an old shoe box, go to the 99 Cent store or Big Lots, and fill it up with surprises for someone who probably never got a gift. Wrap it up and drop it off.

This week is collection and processing week, so my son’s school was participating in this event and I decided that The Guats were going to make their own shoe box.

The little surprises inside.

I read about it and I got all jazzed up. I got my son involved in the entire process. He got to choose the wrapping paper and what went inside the box. He seemed pretty enthusiastic about the idea. It had never occurred to him that there were kids out there in the world that had no toys. So went gung-ho with the gift giving except for a stuffed turtle he said he wanted to keep. I showed him his five stuffed animals and insisted he didn’t need a turtle. He insisted he did.

We agreed to disagree.

But other than that little glitch, the whole experiment proved to be a really cool experience. I got excited thinking about the two or three year-old kid that was going to open up the box and think Holy Crap! This is awesome. When I’m rolling in the dough, I can probably send more boxes at once, but seeing how we’re going through a rough patch, we thought we’d try for just one box, for now.

It was a really good feeling — the kind I get from one of my happiness project adventures. I never thought it would come from a school flyer, but it did. Community service rocks. So I told my son that we would be doing it every year. Operation Shoe Box: A new tradition in the Guat Family.


10 Responses to “Operation Shoe Box”

  1. TBM November 13, 2012 at 1:35 AM #

    That’s awesome. I learned this at an early age as well and I still keep the tradition going. Think of how many children you and your family will make happy over the years. And a stuffed turtle is hard to let go. In fact, I may have to go find one.

    • The Guat November 15, 2012 at 1:59 PM #

      Ha… yeah that stuffed turtle was a touchy point, but it’s all good we had plenty of goodies for the kid. Next year we’ll do two boxes one for a girl one for a boy. Thinking about making a random kid happy is definitely a cool thing. Wish I could see it though.

  2. laura@eljaygee November 13, 2012 at 8:47 AM #

    good to know I’m not the only one with the ‘Oh crap…what now?’ response! Operation shoebox has really taken off, even without the turtle

    • The Guat November 15, 2012 at 2:02 PM #

      YES! I often have those “Oh crap what now” moments with all these school flyers, but this was a good one. Operation Shoebox rocked it…even without the turtle.

  3. adinparadise November 13, 2012 at 9:26 AM #

    Some lucky child is going to love that box of goodies, and “what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve about,” so the turtle won’t be missed. 🙂

    • The Guat November 15, 2012 at 2:02 PM #

      Nice quote. Way to put things in perspective for me. I think you’re right, they’ll appreciate everything in the box for sure 🙂

  4. Andrea Kelly November 13, 2012 at 2:15 PM #

    This is an awesome new tradition! You and your family will change the lives of a lot of little kids this way, even if you only do one box a year 🙂

    It’s funny how helping people gives you a boost too, isn’t it? Especially around the holidays when you’re lucky enough to have things to celebrate. I love going to the mall and picking someone off of our “Tree of Giving” to buy things for.

    • The Guat November 15, 2012 at 2:04 PM #

      Thanks! I try to invent ongoing project just to keep the fun and connections going. And it is funny way of getting a boost. A trip actually. The Tree of Giving! I’ve heard of those and seen one at a Christmas party. Good for you.

  5. IowaTriBob November 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM #

    What a great idea and even better that you’re able to share it with your son. It will be a message he’ll carry forward forever!

    • The Guat November 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM #

      Yes! I was happy to make it into a project with him. I’m hoping he enjoyed it and will do stuff like that on his own. Trying to pass on values the fun way … hoping it works 🙂

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