Operation Christmas Child has been a ministry dear to our hearts for many years now.
The first time we ever joined in the filling of OCC shoeboxes was about 10 years ago. I decided to get my 3rd grade Missionette class at church involved.
We’ll just pack a couple of shoeboxes, I thought. Each girl can donate a couple of items, we’ll fill the boxes in class, and that’ll be that.
Those girls showed up with enough to each pack her own shoebox!
Our class ended up filling 11 shoeboxes that year, much to my surprise, and we had so much fun doing it. We did it every year after that, as long as I was teaching the class.
My own kids too, have enjoyed choosing what to put in our boxes, and the age and gender of the kids we’re packing for.
For the past four years our family has made a point to get even more involved with OCC.
This year, as in the previous, we will be down at the our city’s Collection Center, helping with the massive amount of shoeboxes that will come in over the week. You DO know that Collection Week begins on Monday, November 14th, right?
My boys love these days. There are always other kids around—homeschoolers, of course—and there is Christmas music playing, and hot chocolate and goodies to eat. The kids just wait (and excitedly wait!) until they see a truck pull into the parking lot. The bigger the truck, the more kids line up, donated shopping carts at the ready, to race out and unload them as fast as they can!
It’s a rush! It’s fun! Then they wheel their carts in, and more kids (and adults) start unloading carts, stacking the boxes in rows. We count how may boxes come in from each church and donation center, keeping a count, and then we look over the boxes. Loose lids needs rubber bands. Boxes that feel very light are opened and fillers are added if needed.
Then we pack them as tightly as we can into the large cardboard OCC boxes. Even my boys have become quite adept at this, likening it to a life-size game of Tetris. 🙂
All for children they don’t know, won’t get the chance to meet, and will not get a thank-you from.
All for these kids, for the love of Christ.
Have you packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child yet? You can follow your shoebox so you know where it goes, and even build a box online now!
Disclosure: I am a member of iHomeschool Network’s Samaritan’s Purse Blogger Team and I write about the ministry on a volunteer basis. These posts are my own thoughts and do not necessarily reflect the views of Samaritan’s Purse. I am not an employee, agent, or contractor of Samaritan’s Purse. For official information, please see the Samaritan’s Purse website.