Operation Christmas Child Link Up

how many boxes did you pack

I am SO excited for today! A few weeks ago, I challenged you to pack 100 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes together! I know just from your comments that we’re gonna reach that goal—especially because so many of you were already planning on doing this awesome activity with your kids before you saw my little old post.


We ended up packing 18 shoeboxes at our house. The whole time we packed, the kids were so serious. Lydia really took all the stories of miracles God has done with shoeboxes to heart. She saw her boxes as potential miracles for a little kid somewhere else. She could totally see the kids who would be opening her boxes. And I love that!


I want my sweet girl to know that God can do miracles with her simple obedience! I want her to give and know that even as a 7 year old God wants and needs her to give! When I was in the Dominican Republic last year with Operation Christmas Child, Evilyn Pinnow, a 12 year old girl who started an Operation Christmas Child shoebox club with her friends delivered the 100 millionth shoebox. Here’s a video of the start of her journey



I sat with Evilyn and her mom, Josie in the food court of a Walmart-ish/Mall-ish store in the Dominican Republic and asked them HOW? How did this happen? How did you raise a daughter that wanted to make the difference in the life of kids when she was in fact, a kid? How did you decide to make OCC your hobby instead of Barbies? I was so impressed with our conversation, their relationship with each other and the Lord.
source: Josie Pinnow

source: Josie Pinnow


I interviewed Evilyn earlier this month…


Me: When was the first time you packed a box? Why was it significant to you?

Evilyn: The first time I packed a shoe box was at out first Shoebox Club meeting in May of 2009. It was significant because I knew it was going to a kid in another country.

Me: Why did you decide to start a Shoebox Club?

Evilyn: I felt it was what God was calling me to do. I wanted to make a difference in another part of the world.

Me: What is your best memory or biggest lesson from your trip to the Dominican Republic to deliver the 100 millionth box?

Evilyn: I was really impacted by the joy on the kids faces from the DR after they got a shoe box. It was just really awesome to see how much their gifts impacted them. I guess the biggest lesson I learned was not to take anything for granted. A lot of people are living with a ton less than we are in this world.

Me: What would you tell kids today about God’s plans?

Evilyn: I would tell kids not to wait until you are an adult to make a difference. With God on your side you can do anything!

source: samaritan's purse

source: samaritan’s purse

Isn’t she great? Isn’t this the attitude we want our kids to have? That they recognize God calling them? That they know they can do anything with God?


Friends, use shoeboxes or ministry at your church or simple living-day-to-day to remind your kids and teach your kids that God can use them right here and right now! Let them know that God has a plan for them—not someday a long time from now, but NOW! It might not be with a big shoebox club or a ministry to the homeless. But wherever they are and whatever they do, God is involved!


This is why I love Operation Christmas Child. It impacts kids around the world and it impacts my kids at home. I hope you and your children felt the impact as you packed shoeboxes this year!


Speaking of which, I promised gifts to you, didn’t I?


If you link up below (or leave a comment), you’ll be entered to win a super fun prize pack including What’s in the Bible? Christmas DVDOperation Christmas Child: The Story of Simple Gifts by Franklin Graham, a copy of Truth in the Tinsel, an Operation Christmas Child ornament and a FreeSet bag.


occ prize pack


I’ll announce that winner on Black Friday. But if you packed even one shoebox and link up below (or leave a comment with how many boxes you packed), I’ve got a gift for you, too!


Yancy is partnering with us to give you a free download of her song Merry Christmas, Happy Christmas REMIX! Click the Fancy Yancy Christmas image below to download!


Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 9.47.05 AM


PLUS, you get a craaaazy coupon for 50% off all $12.95 CDs!  Just go to YancyNotNancy.com, fill your cart and then enter ohamandashoebox when you checkout! (expires 12/31/13)


yancy collage


Not sure which ones to get? Here’s my review on Roots for the Journey and the Happy Day Everyday review & blog tour. We listen to all the other CDs constantly, too. You’ll love them all!


OK. Now go! Link up your blog posts, Instagram pictures, tweets or whatever other thing you can link up to show us your shoebox adventure this year! If you don’t have any of those, just leave a comment below telling us how many shoeboxes you packed! (Subscribers, click over to link up!)




  1. We packed 2 boxes here at home and participated in our MOPS groups packing party where 28 boxes were packed. LOVE OCC!!!

  2. We packed THREE and it was SO wonderful. And my friend Lisa packed three because we’d told them about it too :) What a great idea. LOVE that interview with precious Evilyn.

  3. We packed 2. So thankful to be involved with OCC.

  4. Our small group (5 families)packed 26. Also – just have to say how blessed I was by the opportunity to volunteer (with my children)at church during collection week and see how the multitudes are fed through this ministry. These boxes bless the socks off the people packing them just as much as the young hands that will one day take hold of them. So. many. stories… from a mere 5 hours of collecting boxes packed by OTHER families. Glory!

  5. We packed 3 boxes at our house; one for each family member. My son packed a box for a 4-6 year old boy and my husband and I packed for a teenage girl and boy. We look forward to this every year!

  6. We packed two boxes over here and included pictures of our kids with a letter. My 4yo really got into it where as my almost 2 yo kept stealing the toys back out. haha! Next year they’ll both get it. :)

  7. We packed 3 shoeboxes this year, one for each of my sons and one for my daughter. We had such a great time shopping and packing!

  8. Thank you for your great info on ways to help kids get involved in serving the LORD!

  9. Dayahana M says:

    We packed 2 boxes! My son picked everything out for our boy box and I got to shop for a little girl!

  10. LOVE Operation Christmas Child! :) We packed eight (plus many more with our church).

  11. Seven. I saved every shoebox for the year and that’s what we ended up with!

  12. We packed 2 boxes, one for a boy and one for a girl. Dropped them off yesterday!

  13. Our family packed three boxes!

  14. We are packing 2 boxes!

  15. We packed 2 shoeboxes and it is always our favorite way to start off Christmas by giving a gift. Love the winning package!! Yea!! Can’t wait to see who wins!!

  16. We packed 2 shoeboxes and it is always our favorite way to start off Christmas by giving a gift. My kids favorite part is writing the letter. And I loved your idea of praying before we bought items to have Lord help us choose and send just what a boy or girl needed or wanted.

  17. Howdy! This blog post could not be written any better!
    Going through thi article reminds me off my previous
    roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I’ll send this article to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Stacey Morgan says:

    Our family packed 10, 2 each. I love this ministry and the impact being made.

  19. This year was our first year and we packed two boxes. We wanted to start to show our two young girls how important it is to give. Picking this as a charity to support this year was also because that one of our church members who helped Operation Christmas Child had a random encounter with a child from Bosnia who received a box when she was 11! She moved to the US as an adult and he had her come speak to our congregation one Sunday. There wasn’t a dry eye after she spoke! This time of year you hear about so many different charities and you wonder how much of an impact you make or if its appreciated. Hearing her story made me realize how important this is and how much appreciated the boxes were.

  20. Jessica Wicks says:

    We packed 3 and love OCC!

  21. We packed two shoe boxes … one for a girl and one for a boy (both 2-4). My daughter loved picking out everything for the shoeboxes and was so excited about them.

  22. We packed 61 boxes at the party I helped organize. It’s a joy to watch the kids enthusiasm as they decide what to put in each box. They also had the fun of including one of the t-shirts that they sharpie tie-dyed at our church campout.

  23. At the last minute I asked our small MOPS group (around 20 members) to do a free will donation at a meeting for OCC. We raised over $600! We had a family pizza party the next week and packed 67 boxes with 15 kids, and 10 adults. The party was a blast, the kids loved packing boxes and the woman collecting boxes in our town was almost in tears when I dropped off the packages. It was the first time I have ever packed a box, and a new tradition for our MOPS group. Truly an amazing project. Can’t wait to show my 6 year old the video about the little girl featured.

  24. Emily Walker says:

    As a family we packed 2 shoeboxes. My daughter is a member of American Heritage Girls Troop VA2345 and they packed 16. My son is a member of Cub Scouts Pack 460 and his Den packed 1 box. Also, as a family, we volunteered at our local OCC Relay Center welcoming donors and packing the shoeboxes into shipping cartons as well as helping transport the shipping cartons to the Collection Center where we loaded the cartons onto a tractor trailer.

  25. We packed four, one for each child, and contributed items to school who donated over a 1000 items!

  26. Amy Marshall says:

    Our family packed 5 boxes! And we can’t wait to see where they go! I loved the tracking system! This was our first year packing boxes but I know this is now a tradition I’d like to do every year! My kids loved it. They are 17, 13, 10, 7, 4, 3, & 1!

  27. We packed 3 boxes. It was really exciting for us to take them to the drop off and see the big trucks out front being filled with so many boxes. My middle little also really loved a stuffed penguin that she picked out for her box so much that she took some of her own money and bought one for herself. I’ve been encouraging her that she can pray for the little girl who will also have a penguin. We also had a neat conversation about how we’ll get to meet the kids who got our boxes when we get to heaven. Thanks again Amanda for all your encouragement!

  28. Mary Wolters says:

    We did one with my little boy. He was so excited to buy things for his “friend” and kept asking me what his name was? It was so fun to see him want to get things for someone else who needs them instead of starting of the Christmas season with him asking for all the things he wants. We will definitely be doing it again and plan to do more boxes next year now I know what I am doing. :)

  29. We packed 2 boxes as a family. My kids’ favorite part was writing the letter to the kid receiving the box and tracing their hand on the inside of the lid.

  30. I didn’t get my blog post up, but we did pack 2 shoeboxes this year.

  31. We did 3 boxes … one for each of my kids. They get so excited about it every year!

  32. I forgot to take any pictures! We packed and dropped off 2 boxes from our family.

  33. We packed three boxes this year – one for each of my kids. This is our third year packing and we are going to ramp it up for next year by starting to collect items right after Christmas for next year:) Our goal is at least 10 boxes – 2 for each family member.

  34. We packed just one box this year. It was our first time but next year I’m definitely going to start to collect things throughout the year when I see good deals. One of the girls I go to Bible Study with is working over the Christmas season at Samaritan’s Purse and the way she described the company, “I’ve never been in a place where everyone was so on fire for God!” I just knew my shoebox was in good hands! I wish I knew what others were putting in but I think we did okay.

  35. What inspiration! …..and a child shall lead them.

  36. As a family, we packed 2 boxes this year. I was able to lead up our Youth Packing Party, and our church youth packed 150 boxes! Last year was my first year doing it (packed 3 boxes then). I loved the experience this year!

  37. We packed 3 shoeboxes – each one of my children (who are old enough to get it) pick out things that they would like to play with/use and put them in a shoebox for another child the same age.

  38. We had a “packing party” this year and completed and sent 38 boxes! What a blessing to fill and pray over these gifts of God’s love.

  39. What a great difference this going to make in other kids lives and our own kids lives!

  40. Kristin Thomson says:

    We packed 12 boxes at our house!! I seriously look forward to packing our boxes ALL YEAR LONG!! :D

  41. Our family packed 4 :) My kiddos each packed two boxes for little boys in their same age group then included a personal Christmas note. We watched videos together about where the boxes go and to whom. My six year old got especially into it this year. We have also made a pact as a family that one day when both of our boys are old enough we will take a missions trip to distribute them at Christmas time :)

  42. We did 3 here at our house but we challenged our church family to join in the fun. It was the first time for our church to participate and we got 73 total boxes! I’m so happy!!

  43. Kelly Eden-Calcott says:

    We packed a box for a 4 year old girl as part of our small church group (18 boxes total) and the girls where very excited about the whole thing. My 7 year old shopped very carefully, choosing as many items as she could to squeeze in that she thought a wee girl would love.

  44. I haven’t done a post, but we did 3 boxes this year if you’re still counting!

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