I walked into church two weeks ago and let out a huge aggravated sigh.
Because in every seat of the auditorium was an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.
Now, why would that make me upset?
Because I forgot my camera.
(This is what happens when you’re a blogger. You have to take pictures of every. single. thing.)
The boxes were all flat and they encouraged us to fold them and drop them off on our way out. Not taking them home, just folding them up. They wanted everyone to see how many boxes the church wants to pack. It was a teaser, if you will.
This week, I was prepared. I grabbed my camera and took some pictures of the MOUNTAINS of boxes in our church’s lobby.
I told you they were mountains.
It was so cool to see everyone walking home with a box under their arm. Or two. Or three. This week I’m expecting those boxes to come back, filled to the brim with little gifts–socks, toothbrushes, tissues, balls, ponytail holders, crayons, notebooks, pencils, suckers, stuffed animals, silly bandz, bandaids, stickers, washcloths, soap and more.
This week I’m hoping there are mountains of FILLED boxes. We did our part and packed 9 (see above), then with our leftover stuff (and a few things from around the house), we packed 2 more–so we’ll be bringing 11 boxes to church!
Now, the heart part
There are 1.6 billion kids under 15 in the world today. Last year Operation Christmas Child sent out 8.2 million shoeboxes to needy kids. That doesn’t even make a dent.
In every area that Operation Christmas Child delivers, there is a National Leadership Team. These teams have an 8 year strategy for getting boxes into the hands of kids in their area. They work hard at making sure kids don’t get boxes more than once.
That sounds kinda mean. Only one shoebox in their lifetime?
Why is that a good idea? Well, let’s think about it–the 8.5 million boxes that will (hopefully) be sent out this Christmas season? They will go to different kids than the 8.2 million boxes that were sent out last year! In just 2 years they reached almost 17 million kids with a shoebox! 17 million kids with the love of Jesus!
That gets me excited!
After I read this info, I looked at my 11 little boxes and thought, “I’m not just making an impact on these kids’ CHRISTMAS. I’m making an impact on their entire CHILDHOOD!” This could be their one and only gift EVER.
The. Only. Gift. They’ll. Ever. Get.
And it could be given by you. It could be picked out, wrapped, packed and sent by your children.
Do you see the huge impact this can make on you? Your children? And a child somewhere else around the world?
Pack a Box. Change a Life.
Now, The Fun Part
You have the opportunity to actually HAND DELIVER shoeboxes to a child. The ONE GIFT of their lifetime and you get to be there! How? By making a video! That’s right–Operation Christmas Child is hosting a SHOE TUBE Contest!
Here’s what you have to do:
1. Make a video with your shoebox. Or about your shoebox. Or whatever. Just do something creative.
2. Upload it to ShoeTube. *snicker*
3. Wait for Operation Christmas Child to pick 3 finalists and put their videos on their Facebook page.
4. Get your friends and family to vote for YOUR video.
5. If your video is the Facebook fan fave, then YOU will win a trip to deliver shoeboxes to needy kids.
HOW COOL IS THAT?!!
So, let’s get crackin’! National Packing week is November 15-22! You gotta get your box made so kids can get it by Christmas. And I wanna see your video! I want an ohAmanda reader to win! I’m telling you–if you make it to the final 3 videos, I will promote it like it’s going out of style! You will win simply because I will not rest until you do. (*No guarantees, of course. Just showcasing my utter excitement.)
Disclosure: I am a member of the Operation Christmas Child blogger panel and write about the ministry on a volunteer basis. All posts are my own thoughts and do not necessarily reflect the views of Samaritan’s Purse. As part of the blogger panel, Operation Christmas Child will cover my expenses to participate in a trip to the California Processing Center to prepare shoe box gifts for overseas shipment. I am not an employee, agent, or contractor of Samaritan’s Purse.