Operation Christmas Child is hands down my favorite charity project. I work on it all year with my friend Amanda. After we get done packing our boxes each year we immediately start collecting supplies for the next year. Are you familiar with Operation Christmas Child? If so I hope you are packing your boxes now in preparation for National Collection Week, which starts November 12th! If not please check out Samaritan’s Purse’s website and see how to pack a shoe box.
Basically, you take a shoe box (we prefer the plastic ones) pack it with necessities, candy, toys, school supplies and other great items. You can include a letter and a picture if you like, as well as the $7 for shipping costs and take it to your local drop-off location. These boxes are distributed to children around the world along with the Gospel in their own language. Please take time to explore their website and watch some videos. The impact a simple gift like these shoe boxes can change a child’s life.
Amanda and I started packing the shoe boxes today. We have been doing this project for about 5 years now and every year we increase the amount of boxes we pack, this years goal is 170 boxes. So needless to say we have a plan for getting these packed in a timely manner. We don’t try to do it all in one day. We take it one step at a time.
Since we collect the items all year so that equals a lot of plastic bins that need to be moved to our packing location: the fellowship hall at our church. After that we do things like double bag soap bars and fold wash cloths. Since we do a lot of boxes it is much easier to do this ahead of time to help speed up the packing process.
To start packing, we set up the folding tables in the fellowship hall and set out 50 boxes. We like to do 25 boxes for both girls and boys of each age group. The first age group is 2-4 years old, which is what we were working on Friday. We like to add a little color and make it like a present to we line the boxes with colored tissue paper. This is something I picked up after working that the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center a couple of years ago.
Next we start filling the boxes with any flat items, like coloring pads. This helps us get everything into the box easier. Next we put the necessities in, as every box we pack receives these items : tooth paste, tooth brush, soap, wash cloths, socks, and combs. For the 2-4 year olds we also include a small flannel blanket sewn by my grandmother.
Then we select which toys, school supplies and other fun stuff will go in our boxes. Depending on what age group we are working on we pack different items. Finally, we close up the boxes and put a label on them indicating what age and gender the box is designated for.
Today we didn’t finish these boxes because we haven’t bagged up our candy yet but Jason helped me do that in the evening so we can finish this first group on Saturday morning. Stay tuned for a look at Day 2 of packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child and a video on what to pack in a box for a 2-4 Boy or Girl.