November 15, 2011
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Since this is National Collection week for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoe boxes, I thought I’d share a few ideas and tips for packing shoe boxes which will be delivered to needy kids all over the world:
- Look at the list provided on the OCC website for ideas of what to include and what NOT to include: Click here to see how to Pack a Shoe Box. Toys and candy are a must, in my opinion, but don’t forget a toothbrush and some soap too! You shouldn’t put things that can melt or leak in there and please skip weapons/war – related toys (so many of the kids are from war-torn countries).
- If you’re filling more than one box, look for packs of toys, school supplies, stickers, candy, etc. to split up between boxes – this can stretch your shoe box money a little further and helps make room for more variety in each box. Party sections of stores usually sell inexpensive favors in sets which could be divided between several boxes.
- When possible, remove items from their packages to make room for more things! Of course, you will want to keep things like candy, toothbrushes, and toys with small parts in the original packaging :).
- You will need to pay $7 to cover the shipping cost for your box, and the COOLEST way to to do this is to pay online and print out the special label to put on your box so you can track where it ends up! Our boxes from last year ended up in India, and we got an email with a photo gallery of kids opening their boxes, plus information about the location and specific prayer requests.
- Don’t forget to include a photo and note – if you include your address, you might even get a letter back!
- Last but not least, PRAY for the child(ren) who will receive your shoe boxes along with the good news about Jesus!
I like to shop in dollar stores and the dollar spot at Target to find lots of great deals, but I recently discovered that lots of people actually shop the whole year through – taking advantage of sales, holiday clearance, and free samples to build up a stockpile for multiple shoe boxes. I am TOTALLY doing this from now on! I actually did take advantage of a Halloween clearance sale to get a HUGE bag of Tootsie Roll candies at a super cheap price last week. These were great because they don’t melt, there were lots of different types and they didn’t have any Halloween pictures on them. Once I filled our two boxes, I just topped each one off with a big ziplock bag of candy :)!
Anyway, here are some great blogs with tons of tips about saving money while shopping for OCC shoe box gifts:
November 14, 2011
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Have you packed a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child this year? This is a beloved Christmas tradition for our family, which we look forward to every year! The Samaritan’s Purse ministry collects and distributes shoe boxes filled with gifts for needy children around the world. For many of the kids who open these shoe boxes, this will be the only gift they receive this year, but more important than the treasures inside the shoe boxes is the message of love and hope in Jesus Christ that is delivered to each and every child! What a fantastic ministry that we are so blessed to be able to be a part of!
Each year we pack one shoe box for a boy Gabe’s age and for the past two years we have been packing a box for a little girl too. Each year the kids understand more about the process and get more involved. This year it has been so precious to listen to Gabe pray for the shoe boxes to arrive safely in time for Christmas! He has raised many concerns during bedtime prayers ranging from the toys not breaking during the flight overseas, to the packages arriving in time, etc. So sweet. This was the first year Julia was big enough to bring her own box to the front of the church; she seems very excited about the whole thing, even though I know she doesn’t really understand it all quite yet.
If you haven’t participated in Operation Christmas Child, I encourage you to get involved – it’s the perfect way to prepare your heart for the true meaning of the Christmas season!
December 8, 2010
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Advent calendar verses from yesterday and today:
The mountain of the house of the Lord… all the nations shall flock to it, and many peoples shall come. Isaiah 2:2-3
After me comes he who is mightier than I… he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Mark 1:7-8
Each year we participate in Operation Christmas Child. We pack a box for a little boy Gabe’s age and for the past two years we make a little girl one for Julia to give too. It is so exciting and fun to put together a special gift to share the love of Jesus with a child in need! Gabe also got to contribute to and help pack two extra boxes this year: one in his Cubbies group and one in his Mission Friends class. Since I co-teach a Mission Friends class, we let the kids in our class help decorate our boxes this year with Christmas gift wrap as a group project. After the boxes have been collected, I bring Gabe into the sanctuary at church to show him all the boxes the church members gave. Every year, a group of volunteers from our church travel to Atlanta to a large collection site where they help prepare the boxes to be shipped out. This year my sister went and last year my dad went. When the kids get older I hope we can go too. I think this is such an excellent ministry and I plan to get involved every Christmas!