Sunday, December 30, 2012

Franklin Graham Distribution in Ecuador

After Christmas Deals!!!!

Well the sales just keep getting better!

First, Michael's Craft stores is clearancing Christmas items from 50%-80% off... including 70% off wrapping paper and stocking stuffers! PLUS on Jan 1- Jan 2 you can use a coupon for an ADDITIONAL SAVINGS of $5 off a $25 purchase. Get the coupon in the insert or at

At Walmart most things are 50% off... good finds include plastic cups, cute plush (at 1.49), pencils, wrapping paper (which should go lower as there is a LOT there) PLUS today I found out that the 18 packs of washcloths (still mixed with other 18 packs) in Christmas colors are ALSO half off! So they are $2 for 18!!! They may go lower but that is a fabulous price!

If you buy a multipack of washcloths, cups, pencils and have extras, share with friends, your church, or a packing party!  
Multipacks multiply the blessings!

Let me know if you find any other amazing deals!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tool Box Packing Party

I found a post over at the Steward Shop blog and was blown away... and my mind went spinning... and my heart went thump thumping as I thought of the blessing those boxes would be to the boy who received them. Potentially LIFECHANGING. WOW. Over at the Steward Shop blog she described a very special packing party.... packing what they called Career boxes for boys for Operation Christmas Child! They packed such amazing things in their boxes- tools as well as school supplies, toiletries, and toys!

And I thought, I absolutely must hurry over to my blog and post this! Now!! Maybe out there... somewhere in blogland, there is another person who finds this exciting as I do.. and wants their Men's Bible study or prayer group to do this... or their son's Boy Scout group.. or their family... or or or.....

What a blessing. And you are probably by now wondering WHAT IS THIS WOMAN RAMBLING ON ABOUT NOW?????

Ok.. enough of ME babbling and onto her post!!

PS. Yes. Toolboxes CAN be used.. and fishing boxes... IF and ONLY IF.. they are the size of standard shoeboxes and have handles, etc that lay flat.So useful!

PPS.. Do you see the potential? Fishing boxes. Sewing boxes. Cooking boxes. Oooooo what wonderful packing parties these could be! And what blessings for an age group that typically does not receive as many shoeboxes!

Deal on Soap at Dollar Tree PLUS other deals

Hi.. if you get the Sunday Paper tomorrow, it will include the Proctor and Gamble insert... always worth saving for possible great deals for shoeboxes! In there you will find a coupon that you can use at Dollar Tree to get a GREAT deal.

This is from

Buy 2 Safeguard Hand Soap, 2 ct $1.00, regular price
Use one $1.00/2 Ivory or Safeguard Personal Cleansing Products, excludes Ivory Dish & Laundry from PG 12/30 (exp 1/31)
Final Price: $0.50 each, when you buy 2

So each 2 ct pack is only 50 cents or 25 cents a bar... YAY. You could save this and hope for a better deal.... sometimes they even yield free products but this is a sure bet and a really good deal. :)

Note also that has a lot of great coupons right now for toothpaste, soap, toothbrushes, etc for the shoeboxes. The floss coupon will yield FREE floss at Walmart. And the $2 off of 2 Reach toothbrushes can often yield amazing deals. (Last year I got free toothbrushes with that coupon.) 

Also at Staples... If you use Easy Rebates you can get free photo paper to use for photos in your shoeboxes, and in your life and discounted paper for crafting or to include in the boxes for drawing.

Hammermill CopyPlus Paper, ream $6.99
Submit for $5.99 Easy Rebate, Limit 4
Final Price: $1.00

Staples Photo Plus Paper, 60 pk $9.99
Submit for $9.99 Easy Rebate, Limit 2
Final Price: Free

Where Our Shoeboxes Are Going ~ Impact Stories

Recently I have been sharing about some of the places OUR shoeboxes are going... from here in the Klamath Area of Oregon: the Philippines, Mongolia, Nepal, Peru, and Panama.

Today I thought I would share some more impact stories from these nations... to encourage you to continue to pray for our shoeboxes as they go forth and for the precious children who will receive them. Our God is a mighty God who does AWESOME things through simple shoeboxes!

Peru, 2010: I Found Out That Jesus Could Heal Me

God worked on my health during the days the Bible School took place during the summer at my church. I really wanted to be there but I was hospitalized because of a kidney disease and urinating blood. My teacher brought me a shoe box to the hospital. My sadness became joy and hope when I found out that Jesus could heal me. They prayed for me and a week later God worked in my body and I wasn’t bleeding anymore. I left the hospital and came back to the church just in time to start the discipleship program. Now I’m graduated and I feel happy because God healed me and now I can witness to my friends.

Antonio Huamani Hechacaya, 8 years old

Mongolia 2008 - Children of prison inmates

Shoe box gifts were delivered to the children of prison inmates in March. These expressions of love touched the hearts of more than just the children and the prisoners. Some of the guards asked if boxes could be given to their children too. The Operation Christmas Child staff returned later to distribute boxes to the sons and daughters of the prison guards. They told the children about God’s greatest gift, Jesus Christ, and taught them worship songs.
Hearing the Gospel convicted the guards of their own need for a Savior. “At first we thought this was good for the prisoners. They have done wrong. We didn’t think we needed to hear the message,” said one guard. “Now we want to know more about Jesus. We realize that we are sinners too.”

Philippines 2008 - Praying for a watch

“Before the gift distribution, we were asked to pray to God for things that we wanted to receive. I prayed hard that God will give me a watch. When I opened my gift I was so happy to find a watch inside, I can not afford to buy a watch, and God gave me one. Jesus loves me so much, Jesus loves our barangay, we are very far from the city, but Jesus loves me, he gave me a special box in spite of the many children who received a shoebox, Jesus gave the watch to me. He is so good. I am also very happy to have received 4 pairs of socks because my sock is old. When I received my gift I remembered my attitude towards my parents , I have not always been a good boy, but now I will respect my parents and ask for forgiveness to Jesus and be good boy”.

- John Rhey Suaverdez, 12 yrs old (Open Bible Christian Church, Casiguran Aurora)

Panama, 2008 - A child that was blessed in a special way

“Even though it is a little sad, there are fruits in it,” says Pastor Marcelino Gallardo. A 12 year-old kid, José, assisted an event in Marcelino’s church with his sister. Days later he gets sick and dies, but he had accepted Christ while in the church event. Now, his parents, even though they are going through pain, found relief in Christ and are now assist the same church.

Nepal 2010: a very poor village

There is a place named Shergunj and there live a people who are low in caste and very poor who have problems to feed their children and family, it’s a very poor village where there are no school and proper facility. When Samaritan's gifts were distributed in this place they all got very happy and some of the families even told that they have never received such beautiful gifts and had never been expect to get such gifts in the area that they live. They are very much thankful to whole the team of Samaritan's Purse. This distribution have made people of Shergunj very happy and have raised good feelings and made these people very friendly and open to the members of church by near. And now some of families are trying to learn about what is Christianity. And this gifts have created a positive response to all that even though they are lower caste people still there is God to look after them.


Here is Jessica from with her second money saving video for OCC... FREE STUFF. I LOVE FREE!!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Where Our Shoeboxes are Going ~ Part 3

I just received more confirmation... and email that someone was notified their box went to Peru!! In celebration of what God is doing through OUR shoeboxes in Peru, I am sharing this article about a distribution in Peru. SOOOO EXCITING TO SEE GOD AT WORK!

Journey to Peru: Life Care’s 2012 Operation Christmas Child ambassador trip

From March 26 – 30, 2012, five Life Care Centers of America associates travelled to Peru as Operation Christmas Child ambassadors. The group worked alongside teams from Samaritan’s Purse, distributing gift-filled shoe boxes to children in schools and churches. Life Care’s ambassadors served on two teams reaching several communities in the area around Lima.

The Land
Both groups were touched by the poverty in the dusty climate. Shanty towns line the gray hills, inhabited by squatters looking for work wherever they can find it. Most neighborhoods don’t even have running water.

“I knew that Peru was basically a poor country, but I was not prepared for how extremely poor the majority of the people are,” shared Tina Generally, registered nurse at University Park Care Center in Pueblo, Colo.

The People
Despite the poverty, the ambassadors found that the people were generous, putting on skits and dances for them, cheering their arrival as if they were rock stars and even giving them soda to drink.
“The genuine response of the churches was overwhelming,” said Tillie Grant, activity assistant at Life Care Center of Red Bank in Chattanooga, Tenn. “Everyone appreciated the small gifts and was willing to give of themselves for us.”

The Gifts
“The first distribution, you’re like, ‘Oh, this is just stuff,’ but you should see their eyes,” said Mark Niemeyer, executive director at Life Care Center of Altamonte Springs, Fla. “This is stuff that they just don’t get.”
Even the toothbrushes, combs and flashlights had the children smiling and laughing. One little girl sitting on a chair was so excited about her box that she kept lifting her tiny feet off the floor.
Boxes with personal letters were hands-down the favorite, especially with photos of the givers and addresses the children could use in corresponding with the families overseas.

The Love of God
It was the love, though, that made the biggest impact on the children.
The ambassadors were thrilled to bring smiles to the kids’ faces, letting the children climb up in their laps and teaching them one-on-one how to use the items in the boxes.
The teams also experienced some miracle moments. Sometimes, members thought they had run out of boxes but then found more. At one church, the children (who are also poor) gave up their opportunity to receive boxes so that their unchurched neighbors could experience God’s love. And at another distribution, a little boy with foot problems received a pair of perfectly fitting orthopedic shoes in his box.
The ambassadors also got to visit one of Samaritan’s Purse’s Greatest Journey classes, where children learn the story of Jesus and how to be disciples. The joy on the kids’ faces was evident.
“These kids have nothing to consume,” said Niemeyer. “But you give them the word of God, and they consume that.”

The Impact
“Last year, as I packed my own shoe box, I never realized the ripple effect of a single shoe box with a special note and how it could change children’s lives and certainly the families of these children,” Grant added.
The trip had a deep impact on the lives of those who went on the trip as well.
“It was a gift from God to me at a time when I could really use it,” said Jan Smith, secretary in Life Care’s Facility Financial Services department at the corporate office. “Through the trip and seeing their culture and the poor and needy, I see more of a need in being open and sharing Christ with others.”
“I’ll pray for these kids and where I’ve been,” said Tanya Mazzolini, director of Corporate Accounting at the corporate office. “It puts a place in your heart for these kids and that country. It puts a face on it.”

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Where Are Our Shoeboxes Going, Part 2

I was so excited to hear from one of the readers of the blog, Kay, about where she believes the shoeboxes from this area may be going... so excited I just HAD to share! I love knowing for it just adds MORE detail to my prayers for the shoeboxes!

Here is her note:

"I believe the boxes from Oregon, Washington, and northern California were trucked to be processed in Huntington Beach, CA. Shoeboxes processed there went to Nepal, Mongolia, Panama, Peru, and the Philippines. I have not heard the numbers of boxes sent to each country. The day I volunteered in the H.B. processing center, the boxes went to the Philippines. Oregon boxes may have been shipped to these five countries, or more."

Our boxes WERE processed in California.. and this certainly matches what we know so far. We know that area boxes this year HAVE gone to Nepal and the Philippines.. and we know that they have gone to Mongolia in past years. How exciting that they may also have gone to Peru and Panama as well! We may yet learn of other areas as well. Praising God for His work in these areas.. may His Word go forth powerfully with EACH box.

And please DO let us know if you hear where your boxes went! We want to rejoice and pray with you.

Just because I am now SO excited to learn of other possibilities including Panama.. here is an OCC video with Matthew West in PANAMA.

PS I know some of you were having problems posting comments.. not being tech savvy, it took me a while to figure it out... but I have changed comment permissions so hopefully everyone can now post comments here. 

Where are Our Boxes Going???

Here from the Klamath Area, and from the whole Northwest, our boxes go many places. They vary year by year.... so please, if you tracked your package, share where you are from and where yours went in the comments section.

We know a lot of ours go to the Philippines. This is why we have made that an area of prayer focus. And so far I have already heard from two people who have received notification that that is where their boxes have gone.

I also know some have gone to NEPAL this year! Isn't that exciting? I have shared this video before but it is breathtaking... maybe YOUR box went there. I hope you enjoy this video of OCC and Nepal ~ Reaching into the Darkness:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Shopping Year Round Video

I pray you all had a wonderful Christmas!

I know that it is tempting to forget about Christmas and Operation Christmas Child.... but NOW is the perfect time to start thinking about next year's boxes. Why??? Christmas Clearance!! You probably already do this, buying clearance wrapping paper, for instance. But, those stocking stuffers and toys and clothing items are a BARGAIN and a great way to start filling next years box or boxes for LESS.

This video was made by , one of the best savings sites for OCC online.. and this video clearly explains how to fill those shoeboxes for less. Start NOW and SAVE MORE.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Simple Gift (article from Winnipeg Free Press)

Do you want to know more about Operation Christmas Child? Want to see some behind the scenes stories of OCC Canada? Perhaps read about one of the untold miracles that the shoeboxes bring? Then go over and read this LOVELY article! I was blown away by it, blessed abundantly to read it.... I hope you are too.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas


I pray that this holiday season be full of rich blessings, joy, laughter, family and friends, and God's peace. 

Thank you to each of you who has participated with Operation Christmas Child this year... you are making a difference in the life of a child. May God bless you.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Examples of God's Love ~ Georgia

from the Samaritan's Purse blog at

December 21, 2012

Examples of Christ's Love

Samaritan’s Purse makes a large impact in Georgia through Operation Christmas Child by giving gift-filled shoe boxes to children living in poverty.
The people of the Republic of Georgia have seen their own series of hardships over the past decade, especially when the Soviet Union fell. But when a country suffers as a whole, everyone feels it—especially the children.

“In 2008, Georgia also had war so there are many children who are victims of those wars,” said Vitaly Dudukaloff, who works with Operation Christmas Child. “They don’t have parents. They don’t have future[s]. They don’t have past[s] because the war destroyed everything.”

Dudukaloff says that after the Soviet Union fell, the Georgian people saw extreme poverty and economic struggle. While Georgia has seen high poverty rates for years, 28 percent of the children, a demographic that makes up a quarter of Georgia’s population, live beneath the poverty line, according to SOS Children’s Village International.

It is because the need is so great that Operation Christmas Child can truly open a huge door to the hearts of many children and their families.

“This is a great opportunity to give gifts,” local Georgian pastor Genadi Romanadze said. “We get to share the Gospel with them. We invite them to small groups, Bible studies and to talk to the parents.”

During one Operation Christmas Child shoe box distribution, the children immediately started clapping once they saw the boxes even enter the room.

“The kids are always excited and happy,” volunteer Guliko Koshkeli said. “Some even cry because they got what they needed.”

More than 1.2 million shoe boxes have been distributed by Operation Christmas Child in Georgia—1.2 million children whose lives were impacted directly with an example of Christ’s love for them.

“When the church packs shoe boxes, the church here gets a very important tool that they can use,” Dudukaloff said. “I see that these shoe boxes really soften their hearts so that children begin listening to what you’re saying to them when they see the shoe boxes coming.”

Even a local ministry opened as a result of the impact Operation Christmas Child was making on the children. The organization, Noah’s Ark, serves children that live on the street, begging for money. Through this ministry, they provide the children with meals and teach them how to read and write.

“Parents and society ignore these children. We teach that Jesus loves them and died for them,” Marina Usupyan, a Noah’s Ark volunteer, said.

More children in the Republic of Georgia and around the world need to be reached with the Gospel. Volunteers like you who pack shoe box gifts make a lasting impact on children everywhere. To join the movement and pack your own shoe box for a child in need, visit more information.

20 minute skirt?

Well the author of this tutorial says so. 20 minutes! (To be fair comments let us know that those new to sewing can expect their first effort to take closer to an hour.. but WOW and less with each one after.)

And isn't it adorable????

She gives very thorough instructions including lots of pictures so that I feel I could do this! So can you! I think this will make a nice project to do with my daughter or to work on with a women's group. And with it being around a yard of fabric for the 2-4 year old size VERY affordable!

For full instructions go to

Swaziland Distribution

This video is from 2009 but it is new to me.. and perhaps to you as well. Right now, around the world, the distribution of shoeboxes is beginning. Please join me in prayer for each shoebox as it makes its long journey to its child... and enjoy this video and the pure joy of the children who receive the shoeboxes.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Volunteering with Grace

A volunteer from Philadelphia is fired-up about participating in Operation Christmas Child
Toni Washington was going through some difficult times, but she knew she needed to take the focus off herself and find an avenue for service. God knew the desire of her heart, and He did not take long to provide her with a ministry opportunity big enough to keep her busy for years to come.

Toni had recently started attending Bethel, the Church at Franklin Mills, a non-denominational congregation in Philadelphia. The church served as a drop-off location for Operation Christmas Child, and needed volunteers to greet people bringing in shoe box gifts during National Collection Week.

Toni had never heard of the Samaritan’s Purse project; she thought it was a small ministry of her new church. The announcement must have been attractive though, because she signed up to greet on a Wednesday night.

Little did she know that simple decision four years ago would mark the beginning of an exciting new journey.

The night she volunteered she met Thom and Debbie Britschge. Thom was leading the Operation Christmas Child ministry at Bethel. The Britschges befriended Toni, prayed for her, and told her more about the program.

In the following year, Toni became even more involved. Since that time she and Thom have served together on their church’s compassion team, co-leaders for the Operation Christmas Child outreach. They are also year-round volunteers—relay center co-coordinators for the greater Philadelphia team. Thom, Debbie, and Toni also have all served as short-termers at the Charlotte Processing Center for three years.

The church has significantly expanded its outreach through Operation Christmas Child over the past four years as Toni and Thom have enthusiastically encouraged involvement at every level.

Tremendous Growth

“For our church, Operation Christmas Child gives really every single person an opportunity to serve,” Toni said.

The youth group folded preprinted boxes, the children filled gifts in the Sunday School classes (87 in 2012), and the seniors made reminder calls to churches that dropped off boxes at the relay center last year.

Operation Christmas Child is even being integrated into other ministries of the church. Bethel volunteers visit a local men’s shelter each month. One Sunday this October they organized a shoe box packing party at the shelter. The church brought toys and other items and the men placed them into shoe boxes. The residents “loved having the opportunity to fill a shoe box for someone else,” Thom said.

Overall, Bethel has increased its collection from 200 boxes in 2009 to 915 in 2012. As a relay center, they went from 1,500 shoe boxes to 3,700 shoe boxes this year.

“There’s no way we can say we did this,” Thom said. “That’s God working through Bethel.”

The group traveling from Philadelphia to volunteer at the Charlotte Processing Center has grown every year too, from 12 to 23 to 32. A total of 43 different people have made the trip, with folks ranging in age from 15 to 70 this year.

Those who make the trip usually become more involved as servant leaders in the church. “Everyone who comes leaves changed,” Thom said.

Toni’s parents, Leon and Barbara Harris, made the trip to Charlotte with their daughter this year. “I think this is awesome,” Barbara said. “I’m having fun; it’s not work.”

Barbara inspected shoe boxes and Leon, who is visually impaired, worked on packaging candy.

They also had a family packing party back in Philadelphia in November with Toni, her sister, her sister’s three children, and three godchildren.

“She (Toni) is so fired up about it,” Barbara said. “I’ve seen her grow.”

The Big Picture: Gospel Opportunities

Toni has certainly grown into an articulate advocate for Operation Christmas Child. “She does everything now,” Thom said. And her message gets straight to the most important aspect of the project.

Operation Christmas Child makes cross-cultural missions accessible to everyone. Not everyone can afford $1,500 to go on an overseas trip, Toni said, but they can still help a child in another country.

“That simple gift that we talk about is not the simple gift of toys. It really is the simple gift of salvation,” Toni said. “This (shoe box distribution) might be a child’s first opportunity to hear the gospel.”

As volunteers in Charlotte celebrated the sending of the 100 millionth gift-filled shoe box in early December, Toni summed up why she serves.

“The 100 millionth box means there are potentially 100 million children who know Jesus now,” she said.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Free UNO Cards at Target

Normally I don't post Target freebies on this site (although I do on the OCC Southern Oregon FB page) since we do not have a Target here in Klamath... but I thought my audience is bigger than here AND some of you might be braving the pass this week for Christmas shopping so...

I found this over at ClipWithPurpose: 

FREE UNO Cards at Target!

"UNO Cards on your list? Hurry on out to Target and look around the checkout area for specially marked packages of UNO Cards. Look for the packs with a yellow stripe on them that says “save $5 on your next purchase”. There is a $5 off coupon inside of these packages.
You buy the first pack, get a $5 coupon and then you can get another pack for free (and so on). These would make great stocking stuffers or donations to a local charity.
Some packs have a blue stripe, but those coupons expired a while ago. There are also some that say “save $3″ so be aware of those packages too.
The coupon is valid through 12/31!"

If your Target has these packs it could mean FREE cards for your shoeboxes!

50 Reasons to Be Cheerful

Found this blog and just HAD to share... it blessed my heart and I pray it blesses yours as well.

This lovely blogger has been posting reasons to be cheerful for a while.... but took a break because SHE WAS ON A SHOEBOX DISTRIBUTION!! To BELARUS! She posted pictures on her blog and I believe they will give you 50 reasons to be cheerful today!

Curly Fringe Scarves

I found this idea over at Simply Shoeboxes and had to share!

You can find full information and how to make these easy and CUTE scarves over at I will be looking for clearance blankets especially right after Christmas and then with winter clearance. Sometimes there are great deals before Christmas as well. Last year I scored some for 1.50 each... that makes for a lot of nice scarves (or plush animals or other crafts.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Project for Awesome 2012 (P4A) ~ Operation Christmas Child

Until yesterday I had never heard of Project 4 Awesome.... but yesterday as I was perusing youtube for new OCC videos I found a BUNCH because yesterday and today are P4A video days. So, what IS project for awesome? It is a way to promote your favorite charities. And there are quite a few fans of Operation Christmas Child doing so! Go to to learn more or to to see the videos for OCC!

Here is one of my favorites..

But there are many awesome ones! Take some time and watch some.. and vote for some.. or leave a comment on their youtube video ... OR MAKE a video if you are that type of person! IF an OCC video is in the top 5 it will receive a share of the donated money... although that is unlikely... BUT just supporting our OCC videos will help get the word out!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


100,000,000 reasons to celebrate... but billions of unreached children are waiting! If you did not pack your shoebox this year, there is still time! You can build a box online at

Saturday, December 15, 2012

1602 reasons to rejoice!

Well, I was a bit delayed in getting the final tally, but I wanted to share that here in Klamath Area, we brought in 1602 shoeboxes this year! 1602 children who will experience God's love in a shoebox. 1602 children who will hear the Gospel! 1602 opportunities for doors to be opened into families and communities!

Last year we had 1199 shoeboxes.... so this is more than a 33% increase over last year! Praising God for His work! Today, as each day, I am giving God the glory!!!

Lamb's Wool Ministry ~ Sharing Hugs in Shoeboxes

December 14, 2012 from

Filling Shoe Boxes With Love

Operation Christmas Child volunteers handcraft thousands of items to place in shoe box gifts
There was no grand revelation, no lightning bolt from heaven. Jan Holt just saw a need and decided to do something about it.

For each of the past nine years, Jan has volunteered several days at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center at Samaritan's Purse international headquarters in Boone, North Carolina. Each of our centers accept gifts-in-kind, or donated items, which can be used to fill shoe boxes that arrive a little light on presents or contain inappropriate/unshippable items.

One year Jan noticed that the pile of donated gifts was running low. That bothered her because she wanted every child touched by Operation Christmas Child to have a shoe box as full of gifts as possible.

So in 2007 Jan and a friend, Carol Bridge, started the Filler Factory. Rather than collecting donations, they chose to make special gifts by hand throughout the year. The timing was perfect to start a project like this since Jan had just retired and wanted to do something helpful. That first year the two of them made almost 2,500 items.

Filler Factory Increases Production

When word spread around their church—New Life Christian Church in Newtown, Pennsylvania—others wanted to join in, and the work force expanded to a couple dozen. This year, three couples (Jan, and her husband Dennis, a retired union carpenter; Jim and Sandy Cunningham; and Paul and Carol Gangewer) led the efforts of 35 to 40 volunteers.

“It’s a group effort,” Jan said. “No one person can sustain anything like this.”

The vast majority of their gifts remain handmade. They donated 34,000 items this year, which were either shipped to the Charlotte Processing Center or hand-delivered to the Boone Processing Center. In addition, the church collected 1,100 Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes already loaded with gifts.

Most months, Filler Factory workers meet once every other week from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to build, sew, or otherwise create handmade presents. Detailed patterns and instructions are provided for several items. Among the gifts the group makes are wooden cars and crosses, jewelry, small teddy bears, sock dolls, yarn dolls, crocheted purses and head warmers, ribbon twirlers, and tic-tac-toe games. The group reached its all-time high with 54,000 gifts in 2011.

Jan says long-lasting friendships have been made through the group. And as each participant “talks it up” with others, the reach of the project is expanded throughout the community. For instance, the Filler Factory collects donations of scrap wood from a Christian-owned cabinet-making shop near Newtown. In recent years, not only has the shop donated scrap wood, the workers have started packing their own shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Every Box Touched Is a Child Blessed

New Life Christian Church has been coming to Boone to process shoe box gifts for a decade now. Volunteers typically inspect, process, tape, and scan shoe boxes. In recent years, they’ve been working the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday following Thanksgiving.

The work is draining—“It’s a good tired,” Jan says—but rewarding, as she and the others know that each box is a potential Gospel opportunity. Gifts processed in Boone this year are going to Ukraine, Burkina Faso, Lesotho, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Chad, and Burundi.

Jan says her church never makes their annual journey to Boone without first-timers; this year 32 total volunteers made the trip to the far western mountains of North Carolina.

After spending hands-on time with the shoe boxes in Boone, volunteers “just bubble all year long,” Jan said.

“It’s a blessing here and at home,” said Jan’s husband Dennis, who also made his ninth trip to Boone this year.

Jim Cunningham was one of the first two volunteers from New Life to make the 12- to 13-hour trip down from Pennsylvania 10 years ago. Jim has been coming every year since, joined now by his wife Sandy.

Jim compares the processing work each volunteer does to the account of Jesus placing his hand on the little children and blessing them in Matthew 19:13–15. “For every box we touch, we’re symbolically doing what Christ did,” he said.

Seeing Filler Factory’s handmade creations added with love to shoe boxes in Boone is a great treat, Jan said.

“It makes your whole year worthwhile to be able to do that,” she said.

Samaritan’s Purse staff reports an estimated 60 pallets of gift-in-kind, or donated, items will be used this year just at the Boone center. The location expected to process a total of 720,000 shoe boxes during 15 days of work in late November and early December. There are also six other Processing Centers across the country that need gifts-in-kind, including locations in Atlanta and Charlotte that process significantly more boxes than Boone.

The thousands of handmade toys, dolls, games, and other items that New Life Christian Church delivers are all placed in shoe boxes within a few days, highlighting the importance of gifts-in-kind.

Filler Factory’s work is a drop in the bucket some might say, but that’s not how Jan or her crew see it. Every shoe box, even every gift, represents an opportunity to bring joy to a child and to tell him or her about the life-changing hope found only in Jesus Christ.

“Each drop makes a difference,” Jan said.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Prayer for the Hurting (Connecticut shooting)

The unimaginable happened today.

I know everyone who loves Operation Christmas Child LOVES children. Our heart is for God's precious little ones. We pack shoeboxes because we want to pour out God's love and our love to children who are hurting around the globe. Children who live in deep poverty, with disease, are orphans, and those who have faced the horrors of war.

Now here, today, we have witnessed a glimpse of that horror... here... and the faces and images of this tragedy are burned in our minds.

And our hearts cry out to our Heavenly Father. Join in prayer with us today.

Abba Father, our hearts grieve for those who lost their lives today, for those who are injured physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Lord God, pour out Your mercy and comfort on these children, teachers, and families as they walk this dark path. Bring into their lives Truth and Love and Light so that they may be healed. Wrap them in Your perfect love... the love that casts out fear.

Prince of Peace come. Bring the peace only You can bring in the midst of this horror and pain. 

Father, we come before You broken hearted, as You are broken hearted for these precious ones. Those in Heaven are in Your perfect care, but here many are left behind... facing lives without their loved ones. Be with each of the hurting and the lost today in a deep and personal way.


Have someone hard to shop for???

We all have people on our list that are difficult to shop for. Perhaps they have everything... or are just the one you never know WHAT to get.

How about giving a gift of a different type this year??? I can think of 2 great options!

Build a Box!
You can STILL give a shoebox this year, ONLINE! You get to pick the items to put in it, and include a message! OR you can pay for a box.. and your friend or family member will receive an email so that THEY can pack a box online! This is a simple way to give a gift that blesses someone else as well and can have ETERNAL blessings. To learn how go to

Or maybe you would like to give a gift of another sort... maybe you want to give chickens or clean water to someone hurting on the other side of the world. Perhaps you want to help with emergency relief.. or give the gift of an education to a child. Maybe you want to give milk to feed a starving infant? Or train an evangelist! I know I LOVE to receive these types of gifts! There are SO many options at Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Celebrating Christmas in the Republic of Georgia

Oh my... this video had me in tears. I had to rush over and blog about it, and share it with you, my readers! This is a brand new video showing Operation Christmas Child distributions in the nation of Georgia. This one touches ME so personally because my mother is from Latvia, another of the former Soviet nations. For decades, under Soviet rule, these nations could not teach openly about Jesus. They lived in darkness. Now coming out of the breakup they face much economic difficulties, and in the case of Georgia, violence as well. But there IS hope! Jesus is HOPE and LIGHT! And as this video shares, these shoeboxes are opening doors to the gospel. They bring joy and show love to these precious children.

Please take a moment now and watch this video, and see what the Lord is doing through Operation Christmas Child and your simple gifts!

Free Dental Floss

Print this $1 off coupon and go to Walmart to score FREE dental floss for your shoebox! I love FREE stuff for our shoeboxes. If you have been following the freebies, here it is December, and you could already have several free items in your box!

While at this site, please print the $2 off of 2 Reach toothbrush coupon as well.. this particular coupon often yields free toothbrushes... so stay tuned. :) (Find it under personal care coupon section)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Blessing In A Box

December 10, 2012

A Blessing In A Box

A young girl abandoned as a baby is the recipient of the symbolic 100 millionth shoe box gift from Operation Christmas Child
Five years ago, a mother decided she no longer wanted her child. A desperate father packed a small, four-pound baby girl into a box, strapped the box on the back of a motorcycle, and drove 15 miles to his aunt's home in a small village outside Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Five years ago, a willing woman laid eyes on the tiny 5-month-old baby girl nestled in a box, and decided that the child was her newest daughter.

And five years ago, God began working an amazing plan for that little girl's future.

Brenda Valdez, now a healthy and vibrant 5-year-old with an “all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” smile, is the girl who was delivered in a box five years ago to Christiana Guzman.

"I decided from the bottom of my heart, with great love, to take her in," said Christiana, who cried at her first sight of the tiny, malnourished girl. "When she arrived, tears ran down my face. I said, 'If there's a God in heaven, I'm going to help this child.'"

Christiana slowly nursed Brenda back to heath, feeding her soup during the day. Her daughter, Maria "Chela" Altagracia, was about to give birth to her own baby when Brenda arrived, and was soon able to give the baby the milk she needed. Three months later, the once sickly and abandoned infant was healthy and thriving, with a family who adored her.

"I believe that had I not taken her in, she would have died," Christiana said. "I cannot be far from her; I love her as my own."

Brenda is now full of life, quick to flash her toothy smile and sing for any audience. She attends school, and seems eager to learn. And last week, she learned that she has a new friend.

After a month of traveling around the United States to pack Operation Christmas Child's symbolic 100 millionth shoe box gift with small toys, hygiene items, school supplies and candy, 12-year-old Evilyn Pinnow finally placed the colorfully hand-printed box into Brenda's tiny arms.

"All of the items were added by so many different people; she's going to be a really lucky girl," Evilyn said.

After a puppet show that presented the Gospel, Evilyn and Brenda sat side-by-side in the midst of about 250 other children as they opened their gifts. Excited cries erupted throughout the courtyard, swirling around the small yellow concrete school building as children discovered the new treasures in their boxes.

Brenda just grinned as she slowly unpacked her box, carefully inspecting each item as Evilyn explained them with the help of a translator.

There were candy canes from Alex Nsengimana, who received a shoe box after surviving genocide in Rwanda. A small musical stuffed lamb was added by Oksana Nelson, who got her shoe box at an orphanage in Russia before being adopted by a family in the U.S. Brenda smiled and listened intently as the lamb played "Jesus Loves Me," before she dug into a purple pouch containing soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and other hygiene items.

"These are my friends," said Evilyn as she flipped through a photo album showcasing snapshots of the journey of Brenda's gift. Each new page held a photo of the group or individual who added items to the box.

As the event ended and children started to drift home with their shoe box gifts, Evilyn and Brenda slowly strolled down the dirt road to Brenda's cramped concrete house in the community of Sabana Larga de Gonzola. Christiana graciously invited her guests into the front room, which was nearly filled edge-to-edge by a dining table and chairs.

Residents of Sabana Larga are largely of Haitian descent, and many of the families are headed by single mothers. Because the community isn’t officially recognized, the residents are left without any government services, and lack clean drinking water and other basic necessities.

No government recognition means the residents are considered squatters, and are therefore not allowed to plant and harvest any food on the land. The men that do remain with their families make livings as day laborers, but the community has been ravaged by unemployment, a lack of food, HIV, and cancer.

Still, the people are resilient and remain positive—fitting for what Operation Christmas Child national coordinator Fidel Lorenzo calls "the happiest country on earth."

"We're surviving, God takes care of us," said Christiana, who looked on as Brenda sat and smiled shyly as Evilyn began to read her a letter.

A grin crept up at the corners of Brenda's mouth as Evilyn read: "I know we live far apart, but will you be my friend?"

The pair continued to investigate the box's contents, and Brenda pulled two silver chains out of the jumble of toys. Two brightly colored heart halves dangled from the end of each necklace, one bright pink and the other bright purple. Two words were inscribed, "best" on one heart and "friends" on its match.

Evilyn explained that a woman named Livia Satterfield added the necklace, which matched one she received in a shoe box gift years ago as an orphan in Romania. Like Livia, tiny little Brenda thought it appropriate to offer one half of the necklace to the person who handed her one of the first gifts she'd ever received.

"I enjoyed meeting Evilyn," Brenda said. "I have another friend now."

Evilyn agreed, playing with her purple heart and chiming in: "She said she'll always wear it. So will I."

It didn't take long for neighborhood children to join in playing with the two girls. A package of four jump ropes, added by the hosts of a Milwaukee morning show, was a big hit. Three of the ropes were quickly tied together and a game began to see how many could jump at once.

Any language barriers were quickly torn down as Evilyn joined in, jumping with Brenda's young aunts and friends.

"I was nervous at first, but once I got there and was holding hands with some of the kids it was all right," said Evilyn, who was relieved to finally deliver the box she had been bearing.

"It just kept getting heavier and heavier!" she exclaimed.

Each of the items adding to the special box's weight was obviously treasured by Brenda, including a brand new pink leather Bible.

"We read a verse together, and I learned that God loves me," Brenda said. "I never dreamed of a gift like this."

Five years after Brenda was delivered to her family in a small box, God planned a box full of special gifts to bless the little girl.

"Without a doubt I've seen God, and God is with us," Christiana said. "He has shown His love to us today."

Five years later, Brenda is a thriving and healthy little girl. Like so many children who receive shoe box gifts, she has a tangible representation of God's love and gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

"I definitely want to pray that everything goes well for her," Evilyn said. "Maybe we'll meet each other again."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Decorated Composition Books

A simple composition notebook... it is a blessing to a child as a school supply even in its plain form, and a gift I love to include in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.
But, I LOVE the idea of making it beautiful... imagine instead of a plain one, sending something lovely for a lovely child. Something like this...

There are many sites giving how to instructions for variations on this idea. If you want a thorough video explanation you might enjoy this one. 

This idea could be done with many variations for a boy or a girl.

I think when I do them, I would like to include a Bible verse and inscription on the inside cover. :)

Some people add stamps to various pages as well in the corners. That could be a nice touch as well. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Delivering the 100 Millionth Shoebox!

You can follow the journey of this shoebox on youtube.. search for more videos but here it is .. the distribution!

Dollar Tree Deals

Found these deals over at (Lots of deals there for EVERYTHING not just for our shoeboxes)

Aquafresh Iso-active Whitening Toothpaste $1.00, regular price
Use $1.00/1 – Aquafresh Iso-active Whitening Toothpaste – (
Final Price: Free 

Bic Cristal Pens, 10 ct $1.00, regular price
Use $1.00/1 – Any Bic Stationery Product, coupon may not be combined with any other offer – (
Final Price: Free

Reach Waxed Floss, 55 yds $1.00, regular price
Use $1.00/2 – Reach Floss Products – (
Final Price: $0.50 each, when you buy 2

(Some stores are not taking coupons on off 2 or more.... so not sure about our klamath store.) 


Rite Aid Deal on Pears Soap

Pears Transparent Soap Bars, 3 ct $3.29, regular price
$1.00 Off through 12/29 Sale
Buy 1, Receive $2.00 +Up Reward through 12/29, Limit 4
Pay $2.29, Receive $2.00 +Up Reward
Final Price: $0.29 

found this deal through

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Please Pray for the Philippines

A typhoon hit there on Tues., and hundreds are dead, many more still missing. Homes and churches and schools and communities are destroyed. People are hurting, afraid, and in need. And now, the typhoon is turning BACK to the Philippines. This nation is our area of prayer emphasis, and many of our shoeboxes go there. Please lift up the people of this nation as they deal with this massive catastrophe. If you want to learn more: and

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Dream Comes True

Our shoeboxes have been packed and prayed over...... in some ways our part is over.... but the journey of the shoebox is just beginning... and God's work continues in mighty ways in your small gift! Your box contains laughter, and hope, and joy, and love, and maybe a miracle!

This is a new to me video from Australia OCC.... enjoy... and rejoice!

Monday, December 3, 2012


Webkinz, for those of you who do not know, are plush animals that come with a code that allows for online play in Webkinz World. Graveyard Mall has them for a rock bottom price. If you know someone who would like to play online, then you could give THEM the codes and send the plush in a shoebox! Win Win.

My children used to love Webkinz years back.... but they never really cared about the plush, just the game. The child who receives the shoebox would surely be blessed by the high quality plush and a child you know would love the online, safe, child-friendly game site.

These plush are a bit on the big side for the shoeboxes but they DO work well. (Lil Kinz if you ever see them are the PERFECT size for the shoeboxes.)

Check them out at

Come and see what the Lord has done!

Have you seen the movie End of the Spear? It's amazing what Mincaye now does to help others!

It's amazing to see the ripples of God's work and word and love going forth!!! Each shoebox is a gospel opportunity. Each one has the potential to multiply outward... lives transformed... over 100 MILLION as of this year!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Joy to the World and a glimpse into the Processing Center

Well, our boxes have been lovingly packed and prayed over... and they were then sent on to the Processing Centers around the nation. And they begin the next phase of their journey. And now.. JOY TO THE WORLD!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Printable Coupons

I don't know of match up deals to make for free toothbrushes or soap but these printable coupons are good ones and should help make for some great deals.

$2 off of 2 Reach toothbrushes

$2 off of 2 Dial 8 packs of soap.

I will let you know if I find a deal to match these with. These could well yield free or almost free toothbrushes. And I LOVE collecting free items for the shoeboxes!