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shoebox

Free Printables, Mission Projects September 26, 2014

My Message in a Box

What if you could whisper a message in the ear of a child in another country?

What if you could send that boy or girl a box filled with gifts especially for them?

What would you say to them?

What would you send?

This is the challenge I was given for Operation Christmas Child this year.

My Message in a Box

Our family has been packing shoe boxes for at least 10 years now. Most of our boxes have been packed for boys the same age as ours (now 15 and 12).

This year is going to be different.

I’m approaching my boxes with intentionality. I want to send a message to each recipient.

I’m a savvy shopper and I pick up items throughout the year for our boxes as I come across things in the clearance section at Target, at the Dollar Tree, and even at the local Harris Teeter.

A few months back a scored a sizeable amount of craft supplies on clearance at the grocery store. Color Wonder, Model Magic, coloring books (not pictured), and some other fun things.

I knew one of my shoe boxes needed to be for a budding artist. I am trusting and praying that God will put that box in the hands of a child that needs it.

OCC Artist Box Contents

We’re going to include a colorful note that says:

You are creative! You are special! You are talented! You are loved by a family in North Carolina, USA!

I have a heart for reaching teen girls and also wanted to do a box for a young woman who needs to hear some encouragement.

God reminded me that I already had just what I needed. Some of you may have seen my post on The Sonshine Box. Nothing is more encouraging then the sunshine – and the true Sonshine! I pulled out my bag filled with yellow goodies and picked out some items with a young teen girl in mind.

OCC Sonshine Box Contents

I’ve created a new Sonshine printable just for the occasion and am including the free printable for you to use if you’d like.

Click to download the free PDF. occ sonshine cards

OCC Sonshine Box Free Printable

On the front she’ll see: May this box of Sonshine fill you with great joy and happiness!

On the back I’ll write: You are beautiful! You are loved! You are prayed for by a family in North Carolina, USA!

My challenge to you this fall is:

  1. If your church does not already collect boxes for Operation Christmas Child jump in and coordinate the effort.
  2. Pack your box intentionally this year. Think about the message you want to send. Boxes are packed for either a boy or a girl ages 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.
  3. Pray for these boxes! Pray that they will be placed in the perfect hands. That God will smooth their transport and that many will come to know Christ through this program.

I’ll be looking for boxes packed with a message as I serve for the first time this year at the OCC Charlotte Processing Center. Maybe I’ll see your box!

Operation Christmas Child Processing Center

Get packin’! Boxes are collected the 3rd week of November. For more details visit the OCC website.

Your turn to share: What message will you send in your Operation Christmas Child box this year?

You may also want to read:

My Message in a Box
Serving in the OCC Processing Center – Part 1
Serving in the OCC Processing Center – Part 2
How to Pack a Better Shoebox
What It’s Like to Give a Child a Shoebox
How to Host an Operation Christmas Child Packing Party
How Your Women’s Ministry Can Get Involved with Operation Christmas Child


Encouragement Idea: Blessings Bags

 

Mission Projects July 5, 2013

Operation Christmas Child (OCC)

Operation Christmas Child

Putting together Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes is one of my very favorite Christmas activities.

I spend all year shopping for items for our boxes.

I pray for the children and families who will receive our boxes.

I lovingly pack the boxes, squeezing in as many items as I possibly can.

100 millionth shoebox delivery in Dominican Republic.

100 millionth shoebox delivery in Dominican Republic.

Several years ago our MOPS group decided to work together to fill several OCC boxes. To familiarize the group with OCC, I opted to share the video (that you can order) that shows how to pack a box, how they are delivered, and some footage of children receiving their boxes. I cry every time I watch these videos. It breaks my heart to think that this may be the only Christmas gift a child receives.

One of our MOPS moms asked to speak after the video was shown. She shared that she had been on a summer mission trip to an Eastern European country and that during their door-to-door visitations she met a young boy who showed her his OCC box. He treated it like rare treasure and was so proud of all of the items in contained. She was in tears sharing her story, as were most of us in the room.

From that moment I knew EVERY year we would participate in OCC. These boxes make a REAL difference in the lives of children all over the world.

Bethel Healing Center in Masaka, Uganda.

Bethel Healing Center in Masaka, Uganda.

If this is not a program your church participates in, please, please go check out the OCC website.

Consider hosting a packing party for the women in your church. Give them a list of needed donations. The website has a long list of ideas but we always try to include: a bar of soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, crayons/colored pencils, coloring/puzzle books, small games, hat/t-shirt, small toys, small sports balls, hard candy (double bagged). No liquids, no war toys, no chocolate, nothing breakable.

Items will need to be divided by gender and appropriate age:  2-4 years, 5-9 years , or 10-14 years.

The current suggested donation for each box is $7 which covers shipping. You will want to budget for this and/or collect monetary donations to cover the cost.

You can order ALL of the necessary promo materials from Samaritan’s Purse, of which OCC is a ministry. They have posters, stickers, videos, prayer guides, bulletin inserts, web resources, and even boxes. It couldn’t be easier!

Consider making an OCC Packing Party part of your Women’s Ministries activities this fall. Give your women the opportunity to impact the lives of children and their families around the world.

Please note: You will need to plan early! Boxes are collected in mid-November. Donations made online allow you track the box’s destination.

You may also want to read:
My Message in a Box
Serving in the OCC Processing Center – Part 1
Serving in the OCC Processing Center – Part 2
How to Pack a Better Shoebox
What It’s Like to Give a Child a Shoebox
How to Host an Operation Christmas Child Packing Party
How Your Women’s Ministry Can Get Involved with Operation Christmas Child

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