Operation Christmas Child Processing Center Trip

Last month, it was on my heart to plan a trip to Denver to spend some time volunteering at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center. My friend and I consulted schedules, and the trip was on.

Walking into that processing center last Monday, made me so grateful to have the opportunity to volunteer there. Samaritan’s Purse boldly proclaims our Lord Jesus and salvation through Him. Twice during the day, they stopped for prayer.

For those who might not be familiar with how a center works, there are stations where about 5 people x 2 (so 10 total, but the same things happen on both sides) go through a box from start to finish. The first person, called the pre-inspector, checks for shipping money which might have been included. The next person, an inspector, sees if there are any inappropriate items, such as candy, toothpaste, razors, etc. If so, those are pulled, and if fillers are needed, they can add them to the box. Then, there’s a taper, who does simply that, securing the box together. If the box has a “track my box” label, someone scans it, and then packs it in the appropriate gender/age carton. Throughout the day, I enjoyed trying almost all the jobs.

The pre-inspector position
Our team for quite awhile
When this man joined our team, we couldn’t keep up with how fast he taped! I found out he’s volunteered for the past 12+ years and is VERY proficient at this job.
Grateful for the opportunity

It gave me so much joy to see the thoughtfulness in boxes. Homemade items, such as hats or scarves, little pill bottles with fishing line/hooks or jewelry, tools for the young men, clothes, etc. Sometimes people added personal touches with cards or letters (and pictures!).

Most of all, it’s a joy to think of the over 7 million children who will be blessed with gifts they wouldn’t have had, and ultimately, hear the Gospel.

I’d love to hear from our readers on who has volunteered this season and what you enjoyed the most.

Merry Christmas!

Love,
Sarah

Sunday morning
Before I left Tuesday, I loved the opportunity to do a twin newborn photo session. Aren’t these little guys totally adorable?

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the
name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God
and the Father by him.”
Colossians 3:17

18 thoughts on “Operation Christmas Child Processing Center Trip”

  1. Amen!! Glad you had this blessed opportunity!! I always look to see if they are in my area doing this work because I would love to do this as well. May God continue to bless you!

  2. Wow such blessing for sure me and my daughter volunteer at homeless shelter 2 times mth for Christmas we pack boxes for homeless kids and women and men Lord bless us humbly

  3. We went to Dallas for the 5th time. We always go the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year my daughter was old enough to volunteer so she and my 2 sons and I volunteered. My husband and the 2 young girls have fun elsewhere! We love this ministry!!

    1. Lori,

      I love that! I had thought about Dallas with some friends, but I ended up doing the Denver one. What a sweet time to do it with your daughter, and then for your husband and girls to have daddy/daughter time.

  4. My husband volunteered at the Atlanta location last year with his men’s Bible study group. This year he really wanted me to join him. So this past weekend my dad was thankfully able to watch our three kids and we had a “date night” volunteering together. It was amazing to be a part of this wonderful ministry. I was impressed with how well organized Samaritan’s Purse has the whole process. We can’t wait till our kids are old enough to be able to join us and volunteer as well.

  5. This is something I desire to fit into my schedule soon since my girl is old enough now to volunteer. We are only an hour out of Dallas so is very doable for us.
    Thanks for the pics Sarah. Looks like a blessed time.
    Anna and Mary did not go this year?

    J

  6. My daughter and I volunteered in Boone this Monday. It was our first time as it was the first year that she was old enough. We enjoyed our time serving very much and wish we could have volunteered longer. The endless line of cartons of shoeboxes coming down the conveyor belt to the stations was mind boggling! We served as preinspector and inspector. We loved seeing the thoughtful items in each box, the incredible organization of the processing center, our sweet team leader, and the prayers offered during processing. We also enjoyed the festive atmosphere. The boxes being processed that day we’re going to Togo Africa. While we were there, they reached the milestone of having processed 700,000 boxes (just in Boone) this season! We felt honored to be able to serve and hope we can make it a yearly tradition!

      1. You have to be 13 years old to volunteer with an adult. There were several other teens working at our station with their parents. Quite a neat experience and a way to be mission minded right here in the states!

  7. I’m very late in commenting on this post, but wanted to say I really enjoyed these photos and a “behind the scenes” look at this wonderful ministry! That’s so special that you participated in this, Sarah, and also special that the Maxwell family does so much to prepare shoeboxes each year. So many children are being blessed—not just with the gifts but learning about Christ. The very best Gift of all!
    Love, Mrs. Patti

  8. My mom and I just served at a processing center in Boone, North Carolina! (I think she commented above) It was very fun and enjoyable to see how it all works and be a part of it!

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