My church has been collecting shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. In fact, we collected 8,000! Sadly, the 11 we packed? Not included in that number. Why? Because I didn’t bring them to church! What in the world?!
In my defense, we were coloring 11 2-page coloring sheets from the Operation Christmas Child website to enclose in each box. And that takes a very long time with a 4 year old. So, every week I kept putting it off until we had all the papers colored. Then suddenly the collection week was done and I’ve still got 11 boxes sitting in my living room!
So, I got online and found a few drop off points in my area. (My church is 45 minutes away!) The first one on the list wasn’t accepting boxes anymore (man, they’re on top of things!). The second one was collecting until Wednesday. *whew* We grabbed the coloring sheets (still half undone) and ran to the church. Which just happens to be a gigantic mega church with like 40 buildings. We wandered around the building toting 9 boxes (I’m going to take 2 with me to California!) and finally found the drop off point. There were still tons of boxes there and I felt much better seeing all of them piled up!
Then I realized: I FORGOT TO PRINT OFF THE LABELS. Like I forgot to do the main thing–print the boy/girl labels, donate the $7 for shipping and you know, FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. Not to mention, when you do this online, you’ll get to follow your box and see where it was delivered! That’s my favorite part! Oh my goodness I was aggravated. Thankfully the man that took my boxes was totally understanding (and would have never suggested that I cart a 2 year old, 4 year old and 9 boxes back home to print the labels). So, I left them label-less and promptly sent the church a check to cover the labels. (Isn’t Operation Christmas Child happy they asked me to be on their blogger team this year?!)
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in waiting till the last minute and being forgetful. If you’re like me (or if you’re not and you just like to give), guess what Operation Christmas Child set up? A virtual Build-a-Box website! You can pick a boy or girl, their age and then fill a box with all kinds of treats!
The kids and I built one this morning and it was so fun! We chose a 10-14 year old boy because they are usually low on this demographic. Lydia picked a harmonica. I talked them into flip-flops. And we also chose a watch and a few other fun items. Then we got to upload a picture of our family and write him a note! And you’ll be able to follow your gift online! Isn’t that fun?!
They also add a list of like 15 basics (crayons, soap, etc.) to every box. I think this is just awesome–easy, fun and one of the best gifts you’ll give all year.
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, I will travel with Operation Christmas Child 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.