Friday, December 9, 2016

Operation Christmas Child

This year, my church assisted with the distribution of Operation Christmas Child boxes. I've been intrigued by OCC in the past but never participated...until this year!

On Wednesday nights, I direct a program of girls, ranging in ages from 4 to high school and thought it would be fun if every class participated. There are five classes in all, so I asked the kids to bring items to pack five boxes total.

When I say I was blown away by their (and their parents) generosity, I couldn't believe it! We ended up with enough items to pack SEVEN boxes!

After googling for a bit of information on items to place in the boxes, when they were due, how to drop them off, etc. I came up a little short. So, now that I've been through the entire process, I decided to share it with you guys today!

For starters, Operation Christmas Child is an organization that is run through Samaritan's Purse. They accept donations of shoe boxes filled with gift items and distribute them to kids in other parts of the world who more than likely wouldn't receive a Christmas gift. 

The list of suggested items to to pack in the boxes included such things as toothbrushes, coloring books/crayons/markers, puzzles, small game items, stuffed animals, hair ties, a "wow" gift item, etc. I found a sample list here with lots of great ideas and that's what I handed out to the kids/parents at church.

With each OCC shoe box comes a few instructions and also a form for your child to fill out saying where they're from and a spot to include a picture of themselves! (We included group pictures of each class!)

Also, please note - the OCC website states that if you'd like to participate or donate in the future, the box doesn't HAVE to be one of their official boxes - a cardboard or plastic shoebox from home works just fine!

We were able to donate 6 girl boxes and 1 boy box!

You can even choose the age range that fits each box!

Along with the items inside, they ask a donation of $7 is given to cover the cost of shipping each box. To make it easier, I went online to donate and discovered that if I covered the cost of shipping online, our boxes would be trackable! What a fun way for my church classes to see where their gifts were shipped and sent to!

If you choose not to donate online (my parents did it this way), each box comes with an envelope so you can place your check/cash/credit card information inside. When you arrive at the distribution center, you simply hand the envelope over to them.

After completing the online process, I printed new labels with the tracking numbers included. As of now, the box isn't showing up as delivered anywhere, but the website said it could take up until mid-December to show.

The boxes were ready, then what?  Well, I found a local distribution center (which happened to be right next to my church) and my husband, Brayden, and I stopped by to drop off the boxes one Sunday after church. Also, distribution week falls during mid-November so if you participate in the future, keep an eye out for the dates and drop off locations for your area.

Interested in donating but missed the deadline? There's even an option to build a box online

The grounds were clearly marked and it was super easy to find our way around.

Everyone was so nice and helpful and even gave us a candy cane on our way out! The gentleman who helped us said they had received thousands of boxes already and were anticipating more to come.

This is such a cool organization and I love that they minister to children all year long but especially during Christmas time!

Have you ever heard of Operation Christmas Child? Have you participated in Operation Christmas Child in the past?

1 comment:

  1. The first I've heard of this organization was on your blog. What a great thing you & the girls did!


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