There are few things I pray over Hattie more than her having a kind heart and generous spirit, and we feel so fortunate that we found a church whose values align with ours in giving back. For those of you who are local to Kansas City, we highly recommend Vive Culture Church. After trying out two other churches, we are so incredibly happy to call Vive our church home!

Last week, we were able to pick up a Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child box, and while I realize I'm likely late to this game, this organization was new to me. However, after seeing signs at Hobby Lobby this week, I'm sure I've heard of them before, but Sunday was the first time I took a good look at who they are and their mission in serving others.

After participating in Vive's backpack drive at the end of summer, I was really excited to pick up a shoebox for Hattie to fill. She had so much fun choosing a backpack, and I knew she would enjoy picking out stuff for her shoebox! One of my earliest memories when I was little was donating one of my toys to Toys for Tots, and I'm so thankful my mama instilled the importance of a giving heart to those less fortunate, and I hope to do the same with Hattie.

I took Hattie to Target and we were able to find everything we needed on our list. I wasn't sure how we would fit something from each category in our box, but we did and then some!

I decided to have Hattie shop for a little girl in the 2-4 age bracket. This way I could give her options, and she could choose what she would pick for herself. By the end of our trip, she was saying, "Hattie send dis to her new friend!"

Operation Christmas Child- Meredith Maag Photography

Here is what we ended up with for ~$50:

WOW Items:

-Handmade stuffed animal

-A counting book (you know the crazy book lady in me couldn't NOT send a book!)

Personal Care Items:



-Reusable plastic cup

Clothings and accessories:

-3T long sleeve shirt

-3T jeggings

-3T short sleeve dress

-Headbands, hair clips, and hair ties (we stuffed all of these inside the cup to save room!)

Crafts and activities:

-Peppa Pig play pack from the dollar bin (Hattie loves these– we keep them in her diaper bag to entertain her when we are out to eat!)

-Playdough with plastic cookie cutter (also from the dollar bin)


-Sketch pad

And last, but certainly not least, we included a note to the little girl who will receive our box!

You can find instructions on how to pack your shoebox here!

OR if you can't find a Operation Christmas Child shoe box near you, or you don't have the time to pick one up and shop, you can learn how to build a shoebox online here! I think this is an amazing concept. You can have them pick for you, or you can go through and personalize the items yourself.

I'm happy to answer any questions you might still have!

XO- Meredith

Operation Christmas Child- Meredith Maag Photography
Operation Christmas Child- Meredith Maag Photography
Operation Christmas Child- Meredith Maag Photography

Meredith Maag Photography is a newborn photographer who specializes in newborn, maternity, motherhood, family, and baby sessions in the Kansas City area, including Mission, Westwood, Brookside, Waldo, Country Club Plaza, Crossroads, Westport, Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, Prairie Village, Leawood, Independence, Lenexa, Olathe, and The Northland.


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Cheers, Mama!