Operation Christmas Child is an organization working to reach kids for Christ with a simple gift of a shoebox.
I had a chance to sit down and chat with Diane Rice, the local Network Collection Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child here.
I wrote about what happens to your shoebox after you drop it off at your local church. This post is a continuation of that conversation. In part one, Diane gave us 10 Things You Should Know About Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. Now, we will cover what happens when the shoeboxes leave the Collection Center.
At the Collection Center here, the boxes are placed in cartons, and shipped to the massive Processing Center in Irvine, CA. This Center handles donations from Collection Centers in California, Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. They shipped over 700,000 shoeboxes last year alone!
Once the cartons arrive at the Processing Center from the Collection Centers, they are all opened, and the shoeboxes are opened as well. The shipping donation money is removed from the shoeboxes and put in a lockbox.
From there, each box is thoroughly examined, going through an assembly line of volunteers. They look for items which aren’t allowed in the boxes, such as liquids, chocolate and other candy that melts, as well as inappropriate toys.
Filler items are then added to round out the boxes. Fillers come from “gift in kind” donations from stores and companies. They may be stuffed toys, candy, school supplies, and hygiene items.
Once the contents are verified and filled in, the child tags (BOY/GIRL and age) are checked. Then the boxes are closed, and tape is applied around the center of each box.
Just quick note about this: When you apply your child tag label to your shoebox, put it across the top of one end of the box lid. This way the OCC tape won’t cover up the label!
After taping, they are sorted by gender and age group, and then packed into cartons. The cartons are loaded into containers which are then shipped all over the world. Here’s a fantastic video from the UK, called The Journey of a Shoebox.
Diane explained to me why she loves serving with Operation Christmas Child. I can echo many of her answers too!
“Serving together is a very positive family activity. It’s a small contribution that makes a big difference, and only a short-term commitment for a family. It provides opportunities to teach kids serving and generosity. It’s also community-building: Great for a church group, homeschool group, family group, school group to come together for a common purpose.Also the people’s stories, from serving together and from recipients, are so rich and faith-building! There are just SO many generous donors, of their time, resources, and energy. Hope, faith, and love are the end result. So many blessings come from this!”
Have you ever volunteered with OCC? What do you love about it?
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.