Anna and Mary along with Abby, Betsy, and Tina, hosted their annual Operation Christmas Child Shoebox fundraiser breakfast a week ago Saturday. It’s complex to figure out schedules and when all the family might be available, but Anna did.
The anticipated morning dawned, beautiful and crisp, the first day of autumn. Inside, the kitchen bustled with activity, and if you hadn’t known better, you might have thought it really was Christmas morning.
The carefully-planned menu consisted of homemade cinnamon rolls (Mary got up early to make them!), breakfast casserole, bananas, orange juice, and coffee.
After breakfast, Abby read a story about a girl who was directly impacted from the simple yet powerful gift of an OCC shoebox. Mary went through a sample box they compiled to show everyone what goes into one of our boxes. She also told about The Greatest Journey and how these sweet children hear about Jesus through a shoebox. Bethany shared a testimony as well. Questions from the family filtered in too and were answered. Then, the time for the fundraiser came, and Tina walked around with a box.
The Lord provided again for this year’s boxes! We are so grateful for the generosity of the family.
I love to see Anna and Mary’s hearts for the shoebox project, and they put a lot of time and effort into buying items on sale throughout the year. This makes it feasible to compile a large number.
Maybe you’ve been thinking of doing shoeboxes. I encourage you not to procrastinate! National Collection week is only about 6 weeks away! For more information about the shoeboxes, see this link.
Happy 1st day of October!
PS: To see previous posts on OCC, and to gain some ideas on what to pack, see these:
Preparations the day before. Mary gets out Christmas decorations just for this purpose!
This girl makes amazing cinnamon rolls.
The OCC fundraiser breakfast committee
Mom and Calia
A demonstration of the “glasses”
in one of the boxes!
Calia was very interested.
Tina made the rounds with her box for donations.
“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18
Y’all! It’s almost time to deliver your Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoeboxes to your closest drop-off location. Collection week is November 13th-20th.
There would be no OCC without people like you, who are willing to invest in children. This may be the only time in their young lives to experience the blessing of such a special gift. This may also be the first time they hear the good news of Jesus.
Imagine. A young boy prays for someone to give him tools, and then shoeboxes arrive, and his shoebox has tools! These things happen all the time with OCC. God answers prayers. And He wants to use you as His messenger.
As you shop, as you pack, pray. Pray for the child receiving your gift. Pray the Lord will use it in the exact way that’s needed. And know that, according to 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.” I find that very exciting!
Last week, Anna and Mary set up a shoebox assembly line. After many months of purchasing items, preparing them, and all that goes into it, the time had arrived to compile.
It was quite an awesome machine going on! Abby, Betsy, and Tina packed, while Mary did the final check-through and labeling, and Anna oversaw it all. Family dropped in to see the progress, and even Drew and Melanie packed. Christopher’s family was on a trip, but their littles will help with the final boxes soon.
Your enthusiasm and personal stories on our last blog post for OCC was simply contagious. For those who haven’t packed a shoebox or are procrastinating, please jump in. It’s not too late. And you will impact someone’s life in another country.
“A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.” Psalm 68:5
I love seeing the items grow in our basement for Operation Christmas Child. Okay, well, they don’t just grow by themselves, I should say they’re purchased! Anna and Mary diligently work at finding great deals throughout the year.
Anna, Mary, Anna Marie, and most of the nieces and nephews went shopping at back to school time in August. This was the perfect opportunity to get practical supplies for the boxes.
Currently, Anna and Mary are spending individual one-on-one time with the littles and letting them come over and help with shoebox projects. It’s adorable to see!
Two things to note when purchasing items: toothpaste and candy (crying face here!) are no longer allowed due to customs’ regulations. I know the Lord will give creativity when it comes to replacing those two items, as those both were favorites in our boxes.
So, we’d love to hear, how many of our readers are doing OCC? Please post below!
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To
visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep
himself unspotted from the world.”
We arrived at the Operation Christmas Child (OCC) warehouse Monday morning excited about our days of volunteering. After checking in and orientation, we were taken with some others to a processing lane.
There were 16 lanes, and on each lane, you could have 10-13 people working (or, as little as 5 if you had one side going, which we did a few times). Each lane was made up of two sides, where the exact same work was going on. The first person on the lane grabbed the shoebox from a big container, took off the rubber bands, and checked to see if someone had enclosed a donation for Samaritan’s Purse, and if so, you dropped it in the money box. This was called a pre-inspector. They then passed the box off to an inspector, who would check if there were any objectionable items such as liquids (definitely saw hand sanitizers, shower gels, and even snow globes!). If the box wasn’t full, they would add filler items that had been donated from many different places (often there would be two inspectors, so two pre-inspectors needed to keep four regular inspectors going!). Next, someone would secure the box with tape, and hand it off to a packer, who would put the shoebox in the proper age/gender box. If the label was a “Follow Your Box” scannable label, someone else would scan it.
We girls worked a variety of jobs, but my favorite was the pre-inspector! I really enjoyed seeing the creativity and love people put into their boxes. Anna was the master taper, and on Monday, she and another worker had taping-contests. Anna could really fly through her boxes, and that job requires strength and stamina (I know, because I did it for just a little while and came away with a big appreciation for all of Anna’s work!).
Mary was a cheerful helper, sometimes packing boxes into their ultimate shipping box, or scanning boxes, or inspecting or pre-inspecting—just wherever she was needed. She was also our go-to girl on items that might have been gray-areas if you had a question on that (“Hey, Mary, what about glow sticks?”).
Between the three days we volunteered, we worked with some super awesome people. Some came for just a morning, or some came for all week (Hello, Tammi, and Jim & Linda!), but we were all there with the same goal: to bless children! We talked, and laughed, and encouraged each other. We were truly a team.
Several times a day, everyone stopped working, and an OCC staff member led us in prayer, and we laid hands on the boxes. It was sobering to think we were the last people to handle the boxes before the children. And, oh, how exciting it was to hear Monday night, that boxes were already on a truck and headed down to El Paso, and then to cross the border to Mexico! Such precious cargo on its way!
Samaritan’s has distributed 120 million shoe boxes since their inception, and their goal is to never give a child a shoebox twice in their lifetime. I have to say, I used to wonder when they would hit market saturation. They won’t. Why? Listen to something that totally shocked me and made me realize that 9 million shoeboxes this Christmas is only a drop in the bucket. If OCC had taken all 120 million that they’ve given out since the 1990’s, and given that 120 million to India last year, 280 million children in India STILL wouldn’t have a shoe box. Y’all, that’s in India ALONE! Talk about amazing.
With that in mind, Denver’s processing plant still needs help these next 10 days to process the boxes. Their goal is 800,000, and they had reached the 400,000 mark when we were there, but that’s a little over half way, and their goal end mark is Saturday, December 17th. They encouraged people to invite friends/family/their church. And since we have a wide blog readership, I’m encouraging you to jump on board if you live in the general area, and help OCC out.
It’s an amazing way to share God’s love with little children in other countries! You won’t regret it!
“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother
have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion
from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” 1 John 3:17
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.