Earlier this year, I asked for your help. My kids and I wanted to recycle broken, worn out, paperless crayons and use our new creations to help pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child this November.
You all responded! Many of our local friends brought us bags and bags and bags of crayons. Thank you so much!
Because of your donations, we made approximately 400 new crayons and bagged them up in groups of two, meaning that we should be able to place that gift into 200 shoeboxes this year.
Oh how easy to forget, though, that the gift isn’t just the items we pack into a small box and ship out.
The gift is the testimony of God’s love–that our God sees them and loves them.
National Collection Week is in November each year. This year, the collection dates are November 16-23.
That means it’s the perfect time to gather supplies and pack those boxes!
We’ve been packing shoeboxes as a family for several years and it’s by far one of my favorite Thanksgiving/Christmas traditions because it’s a reminder to be grateful. It’s a way to shift our focus off of getting and onto giving.
For the past two years, we’ve been trying something new as a family. Every single time I went into the Wal-Mart to pile up on groceries, I bought a few items for shoeboxes. It only added about $5 to $6 to my weekly grocery budget and I could do less or more as I needed to or was able to.
Last year, I chose a different two ‘theme’ items to focus on each month.
Then, every two months or so, I loaded up a bag of the supplies we had collected and dropped them off at our church where we have a room set aside for OCC supplies.
Next week, our church will host a packing party. In addition to the individual boxes we can pack at home, we’ll use the bulk supplies we’ve collected as a church family and pack as many shoeboxes as we possibly can by working together.
My husband and some of the families at church even made a fun video about how packing parties are different from packing individual boxes. Please check it out here:
If your church has a packing party, would you consider picking one or two items to buy at the store each time you go?
- What to pack in your shoebox.
- Where to find the closest drop-off location.
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
If you make a $7 donation online to cover the shipping for your box, you can even print off a label that lets you track it here!! A few weeks after delivery, they’ll send you an email telling you what country your box was delivered to and some general information about the needs in that area.
Most important of all, pray for the child who will receive your shoebox! Prayer is so powerful. Don’t just send stuff, send gifts along with time spent on your knees.
Here are some of my favorite OCC videos.
There are so many opportunities to give every holiday season, but this is my very favorite. I hope you’ll make Operation Christmas Child a part of your holiday traditions, as well!
Do you have any great ideas or stories about Operation Christmas Child to share with us?
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.