My preschool is participating in Greatest Gift Ministries' gift box program this season. Donors choose the sex and age of the child they want to give to, and then pack a shoe box (or other similar sized box) with toys, school supplies and hygeine items. These boxes are then given to poor children in countries like Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, The Philippines, and Myanmar.
Today at preschool we watched a video about the project and our students were impressed that they would be able to give to children their own age who wouldn't ordinarily get much, if anything, for Christmas. After school, my wife read through the brochure about what kinds of things are and aren't allowed in the box. Hard candy is okay but no other food (because it could go bad or spill). After hearing that, my four-year-old daughter said, "The poor children living far away don't have any food. They just have to eat hard candy all the time. So we have to send them lots and lots of hard candy." We have a little more explaining to do.
(This is surreal: As I write this, I'm watching the news and farmers are plowing cabbage into the ground because there was a bumper crop and they don't want prices to fall.)
Anyway, if you're in Japan and want to participate in the gift box program, see their web site at greatestgiftministries.org.