Thursday, October 20, 2016

Operation Christmas Child - Packing Shoeboxes of Hope

One of our family traditions each year is to pack a couple of boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  If you are not familiar with this ministry, it is a part of Franklin Graham's organization, Samaritan's Purse.
All you need to know about packing an Operation Christmas Child Box

"Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."

If you have never done it before, I am going to help you.  It is so easy and NOW is the perfect time to get involved!  National Collection Week is November 14th-21st this year and I am partnering with some Sweet Friends to spread the word and make this the best year ever!

Let's get started!

Print the Labels and Guidelines:  This will give you an idea of the items you need to shop for.

Pick your container:  You can use a standard shoe box, but I like to use a plastic container that is the size of a shoe box.  This gives the child something to reuse to keep their possessions dry or to carry food or water in.

Go shopping:  I usually go to the local Dollar Tree because you can get the most bang for your buck. I pick up small toys such as balls, cars, coloring books and crayons, school supplies, costume jewelry, small dolls, stickers etc.  Don't forget to also add personal hygiene items such as wash clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bar soap, and brushes or combs.

All you need to know about packing an Operation Christmas Child Box

Pack your box:  You can either wrap it (make sure you wrap the lid separate) or line it with tissue paper.  Arrange all the goodies in your box (you may need some creative packing skills!) Place the appropriate marked label on the top and secure with a rubber band.  Do not forget to include a check for $7 for each box, to help offset shipping costs.

All you need to know about packing an Operation Christmas Child Box

Drop off your box:  Take your box to a local collection site and pray for the child receiving the box. We collect boxes at our church, then a team delivers them to the processing center in Boone.

I was able to volunteer at a processing center in Boone, NC with our church two years ago and help sort and pack all of the shoeboxes collected from the area.  Each one of the shoeboxes must be opened and inspected, then sorted by age and sex in preparation for being shipped overseas.  If you are interested in volunteering at a local processing center, check HERE for more info.  It really is an awesome experience to see all of the shoeboxes and knowing that they will be blessing a child across the world.  We even got to meet Franklin Graham the night we were there!

You can also track your box if you want to pay for the shipping online!  This allows you to see exactly where in the world your box is delivered.

I hope that you will join me this year and experience the blessing of giving to a child in need.  If you want to share your box or just spread the word on social media, please tag me and use the hashtag #SweetFriendsforOCC  


  1. My uncle started a ministry in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, Mexico when his wife died and he named it "Sandra's House" in memory of her. The ministry was started to bring the Word of God to the Yucatan Peninsula. He would teach Mayan men about Jesus and the bible and in turn, they would teach the Mayan people (since they are more inclined to listen to a fellow Mayan rather than some random white guy).

    I remember when he personally delivered huge trailer fulls of Operation Christmas Child boxes and told me stories of how they were received by the local Mayan people. He said the little children would come from all over then patiently and quietly wait in line for their little box.

    The boxes contained, as you know, toys like little dolls, toothbrushes and other toiletries etc. and he said the look on those children's face was priceless. They were SO very grateful just to receive a little box of crayons and a coloring book - something that many American children would cry if they got. These children cried tears of happiness that someone so far away was thinking about them.

    My uncle has since passed and I'm not sure what all is being done down there but I'm pretty sure the ministry is still going. Their Facebook page hasn't been updated since his death but here is a link:

    These particular photos are not from OCC but rather a shoe drive that they did. You can see the precious little faces as they receive probably their first pair of new shoes, ever.

    Thank you for raising awareness for children around the world who might not have much - I take that back - they probably won't have anything at all if it wasn't for us sending the boxes.

    God bless!

    1. Erin, Thank you for sharing your uncle's story. I love hearing first hand accounts of how these boxes can change a child's life and show them the love of God. I will definitely check out the FB page.

  2. Of course I know about this, but thank you for publicizing. Everytime I think about who is on the receiving end, and what it may mean to them, it touches me. Keep "being the light" :)


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