I've been aware of the 'Shoebox Appeal' for a few years. Bud's Grandma makes up a box every Christmas and several other friends have participated too. The appeal's official title is Operation Christmas Child and it is organised every year by the Samaritan's Purse charity. The idea is that you take a shoebox, cover it in Christmas paper and fill it with a number of small gifts which are then sent to a child in one of 14 (in 2010) countries, these include Haiti and countries in Eastern Europe and Africa. Suggestions for gifts include sweets, socks, hats, gloves, soap, flannels, cuddly toys, balls, stationery etc. Alongside your box you submit a donation of at least £2:50 to cover your box's transportation costs. They suggest that your box is targeted towards a boy or a girl and in a certain age group. The website has lots of useful information.
This year I have assembled two boxes. One for a girl aged 5-9 and the other for a boy aged 2-4. I'm quite lucky that my mum works for a well-known supermarket chain and looks out for little bargains for me. I've also shopped in stores like Primark and Home Bargains to buy things for my boxes.
My boxes were easy to put together and I have really enjoyed doing it. I plan to carry on with this in future years and will get Bud involved too, in the hope that it will help him to understand that some children are not as lucky as he is.
Mummy From The Heart is having a big push on Operation Christmas Child this year and is aiming for her child's school to donate 150 shoeboxes this year. Her blog post explains the whole project really well. MummyMummyMum has a fab giveaway over on her blog to support this and anyone creating a shoebox this year can enter by posting a photo to her Facebook page.