Gift Suggestions for Children's Missions, Charities

During Lent, we Catholic practice charity, prayer, penance and fasting. Advent is a lesser penitential season and those same virtues are observed. Many of us give to children's charities, like Toys for Tots or Operation Christmas Child, or church giving trees.

It might seem obvious what gifts are best for kids. But I always remember the "The Waltons" Christmas special. The children received 'missionary barrel' gifts and Elizabeth got nothing but a broken doll. I cried my eyes out as she lovingly held that destroyed doll. I didn't understand why wealthy people would send a broken toy. But packing up gifts for a sister parish in Haiti, I found people still do that, alas. Some donated toys were damaged, others just weren't suitable.

We were pleased by the generosity, but disappointed by the lack of care some showed. We had to go out and buy gifts to supplement those that weren't usable. This gift list is written to clarify what children in overseas and domestic missions can use and what may not be appropriate. Top 10 Gift Ideas for Children's Missions and Charities