Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thank You.. and Thanks be to God!

Happy Thanksgiving! Today we give thanks for the millions of shoebox gifts that will soon be on their way to brighten the lives of hurting children around the world!

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations." – Psalm 100:4-5  
The above pic and message is from the Operation Christmas Child FB page and I could not skip sharing it.... on this Thanksgiving there is so much to be grateful for including EACH and EVERY shoebox you packed and for each child who will be blessed.

Today, I hope you are blessed as you celebrate all that our Heavenly Father has provided. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Collection Week is Over but You can STILL SEND A SHOEBOX

Did you pack a shoebox and forget to drop it off? You can still mail it! Learn more at

Maybe you forgot completely, or just learned about this, and now you too want to bless a child in need with a shoebox gift and the message of Jesus Christ?  It is NOT TOO LATE!!

“Look here, this is Si Robertson, all right? Hey, Jack, share your love by packing a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, okay?”

“It’s on like bing bong, Jack!”

Ya’ll know that you can pack shoebox gifts, but did you know you can also build them right here on the internet, and Operation Christmas Child will pack and send them for you?
Take the Uncle Si Shoebox Challenge and join us to meet the goal of 25,000 shoebox gifts built online this year, in honor of Si and his love for children.
“Look, I’m 65 years old, okay, but I’m really 10 years old,” Si said. “I refuse to grow up. I’m always gonna be a child, okay? So that’s why children have a special place in my heart.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cute Ribbon Hair Bows

I love these! Friends of mine posted some cute bows they had made... and of course, Operation Christmas Child came to mind. When I asked about them, they shared the video where they learned how to make them... and we WILL be doing this at our next craft day. Ribbon and hot glue! Love it!!!

So now you want to know how to make them too.. right? Right! Because they really are so sweet! We will make them at our Share the Love Valentine's Craft Day... and I can't wait!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Collection Week is Almost Over....

Tomorrow is the final day! In Klamath you must drop your box off between 9:30-10:30 to get it in on time! The truck will leave shortly after. But, stores are still open... you can finish your box!

I had a family emergency that pulled me away during the middle of Collection Week, but the great team of volunteers continued on.... Look at ALL THOSE shoeboxes and cartons! So many children will be blessed BECAUSE OF YOU!

Thank you for packing shoeboxes! Your shoeboxes will make a huge difference in the life of a child!

Thank you for all our great volunteers!!

And thank you to all who have covered this ministry in prayer. That part doesn't end with the end of Collection Week. Keep praying for these shoeboxes that still have a long journey ahead of them... and pray for each child who will receive the box.... and for the volunteers that will make its delivery possible.


PS Thanks to Cassandra for this photo collage!

Sending Blessings Through Operation Christmas Child

“After an OCC distribution, a pastor took the volunteer team to the inner city portion of the dump where, from within the bus, they were able to witness the daily life of those living in the worst conditions. Vultures swarmed around the dump, scavenging alongside the people for their own food. The people wore coverings over their mouths to keep out flies, smells and dust. The homes in this area were nothing more than pallets, many broken and discarded, with cardboard and plastic bags for roofs. Some team members wept, hardly able to believe people of the world lived like this. After taking the pastor back, the team wanted to pray for him. Before they could begin, he began praying for them, thanking God for the blessings they brought to him and his people.” – OCC Volunteer

Adrian was just a small child when he was abandoned by his parents. He grew up in Ecuador thinking nobody loved him, and he encountered problems in school. His life was changed forever at age 12 when his aunt and uncle invited him to an Operation Christmas Child gift distribution at a local church. “There, I met Christ,” Adrian said. “Now I know I’m not alone. God loves me and He loves me a lot. Thank you for the shoebox and the biggest gift of all, Jesus.”

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sending Hope and Joy and Love to a Child ~ Operation Christmas Child

A child, living, sleeping, eating in a dump. Digging each day for items to use or sell for scrap. This is the reality for many children around the world. We want to run in and rescue them all. We can't. But we can take a life of grey and shades of brown, and bring in the color of hope. The Gospel Message brings that hope and goes to the children who receive the boxes.

I love one of the stories shared by Mary Damron about one of these children. 

MARY DAMRON -- Shoebox Corner -- It sad to say but many many children live on garbage dumps around the world. Even eating the rotten food that others have thrown out. Our children could never imagine that everything they have is someone else's trash. On a dump in Panama, one little 5 yr old girl shied away from all of us. She was covered in filth, hair matted and had a horrible smell. As she sat and opened her box, she carefully laid everything on the lid, trying not to get anything dirty. She suddenly squealed with joy as she had found a treasure. A plastic necklace that cost about a dollar. She put the necklace on and began to press it to her neck. Then she climb up onto an old rusty chair so everyone could see her and started blowing kisses. I know she felt like a little princess. In that moment you can understand the power of a simple shoebox. It doesn't change the circumstances for the children but it changes how they feel about themselves. For the first time in many of their lives, they feel special. PLEASE, PLEASE, Don't feel guilty because of what you and your family have. Just be grateful and share your blessings with others.

 A child laying hurting in a hospital. We can send joy. The stuffed animal the child takes into their arms and hugs. The first toy car a boy has ever had to zoom across the bed. If you have never done so, take some time to watch cups of joy videos or the ones shared here.... over and over you will see such moments of joy. 

And love.. ah.. love. The child who opens that box will feel our love... the love of someone they never met nor likely will, but who cares. And more the love of a Savior who orchestrated the details of a box so that something within speaks to the heart of a child and says I see you, I know you, and I love you. I am always amazed at the stories of the shoeboxes.... click the Impact Stories Tab above to read about what God is doing.

A former blog of a lovely woman who went on a distribution, wrote this last year:
Let’s say that I’m someone you don’t know in the Unites States, and I have lots of opportunities to do charitable things around the holidays.  What would you say to me – why should I pack an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox?

Edison: You should definitely pack a shoebox.  This is something that goes beyond the toys, beyond the candy, beyond the booklet [The Greatest Journey discipleship program booklet] – this is something that goes straight to the hearts of children.  It’s a box full of love, full of hope that you bring into the country.  When you grow up in an environment like this, you feel unloved.  You wonder, “Will God really care about me?  Look where I live!  I don’t have anything: I don’t have food, electricity, water or health care, my school isn’t good…” But when you bring in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, the whole thing changes and the child starts to see things differently.  It’s like a huge sign in the middle of the desert telling them there’s water here, and it’s the water of the love of God.  The water of the hope that Jesus can give to the hearts of people.  I think that’s the whole reason behind packing an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where will our Shoeboxes Go????

Here is the current expected list of where our shoeboxes will go from the West Coast...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Love and Shoeboxes Going to the Philippines!

Shoeboxes from here often go to the Philippines.. it is the area we pray for year round.. and now in the face of the tragedy, Samaritan's Purse is responding with help in the name of Jesus.. and with SHOEBOXES.

This year OCC plans to send over 500,000 shoebox gifts to children in the Philippines. Visit the Samaritan's Purse website to learn how you can donate to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Let's continue to pray for God's hand in this situation and for each and every shoebox that goes to the Philippines that it goes with the fullness of God's love and with the Gospel message. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It is Collection Week!!!

YAY! It is here! Collection Week! So get your shoebox and bring it into your local drop off point! You can find out where and when to bring in your box at

If you are in the Klamath Are of Oregon then your relay center is at Calvary Chapel, next to the Y at 1201 S Alameda Ave. And I can't wait to see you!

View Larger Map

Monday Nov. 18, 11am-1pm
Tuesday, Nov. 19 – Saturday, Nov. 23, 3:30pm-5:30pm
Sunday, Nov. 24, 12pm-4pm
Monday, Nov. 25, 9:30am-10:30am

Need to know HOW to pack a shoebox?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sending Love ~ Special Touches

Sure, we fill the Operation Christmas Child with lots of great stuff... toiletries, school supplies, toys, hard candy, etc.... but I love to include something personal too. So what kinds of special touches can we include??? The ideas are endless!

A photo!!! Story after story reveals how treasured these photos are to the children who receive the shoeboxes. They can put a face to the gift... and know that many will be kept and treasured for years.

A letter. Yes, I know, these gifts do not often even go to English speaking nations... even so the letter is a treasure to the child. Many many times they will be able to get someone to translate right there at the distribution. English is a common language around the world. I have even heard of them keeping it and getting it translated years later. Speak love and care into their lives in the letter.

You can use the form they have to print that gives guidance as to what to write... this is perfect for children sending boxes but I believe it is a nice option for anyone. It has a spot to draw or paste a photo, maps to show where you live, and more.

A craft: oh there are so many wonderful items you can make to put in the shoeboxes. From the simplest to those for skilled crafters there are hundreds of ideas. There are several pinterest boards linked in the sidebar to get you started with ideas if you need help, or click on the craft tab at the top of the blog for ideas I have posted.

And here are a few other ideas that I think are sweet:

And most important... with every box, pack it FULL of PRAYER. Thank you so much for packing a shoebox and blessing a child. May the precious child who receives your box feel your love and experience the love and tender care of God within it.

Want to know more about Operation Christmas Child and how to pack a shoebox??? Go to

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Packing Shoeboxes with Your Children

Oh my goodness how I love this video I found online... and so here I am posting once again about my favorite thing about packing shoeboxes... packing WITH children.

I started when my kids were young... they learn about giving, about loving others, about sharing God's love. Little Samuel in the video is not yet 3 and HE gets it... take your kids and shop with them. Pray with them over the shoeboxes. Pack as a family. And enjoy! I have such tender memories of packing shoeboxes with my children.. and I still love doing packing parties with kids. Today I did so with my Good News Club at a local public grade school and the children declared it their favorite club day EVER. Teaching children to love giving is a great blessing and joy.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oksana's Story ~ A Life Changing Gift of Hope

I love the stories of the shoeboxes... to see what God is doing through these simple gifts. Here is one I rediscovered thanks to Abi, our local relay coordinator. If you enjoy the stories of the shoeboxes, you can find many many more in video and in written form by clicking the Impact Story tab at the top of the blog. May you be blessed.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

How to Pack a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child Instructional Video

I love this clear presentation of how to pack a shoebox, what to put in it, how to wrap it, what NOT to put in it and more...

Pack a Shoebox "Cups" or is that "Boxes" song and video

This is so cute, fun, and NOW and would be perfect to share with your youth as they pack shoeboxes.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Australian Girl has Video on Packing LOTS of Shoeboxes on a Budget!

Loved this girls passion and her smart shoebox packing so I had to share her video! Keep in mind that in the US, our suggested donation is $7, not 9 as in Australia (currency differences.) We can pack toothpaste, but like Australia, no liquids. We can pack hard candy, but no perishables, such as chocolate or other foods.

I hope you are blessed and motivated by this video as I was... and maybe you will get some new ideas on how to pack more for less.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What Do I Pack???

Sometimes people struggle to know WHAT to pack, especially for the little ones and the older ones, and that likely explains why the vast majority of boxes are for 5-9 year olds. So I thought I would link to my earlier posts on this topic.

What to Pack for 2-4 Year Olds

What to Pack for 10-14 Year Olds Girls and Boys

And because they might be helpful links too

100 Ideas for a Girl Box

100 Ideas for a Boy Box

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kids Packing Shoeboxes for Kids

I first got involved with Operation Christmas Child when my kids were little in the simple way most of us do, packing shoeboxes. I wanted my children to learn about giving, about praying and loving others, even those they may never meet in this lifetime, and about the Great Commission. Operation Christmas Child gave my children a simple way to do that and it was SO meaningful to them.

Fast forward a decade.. and as a year round volunteer I am even MORE passionate about OCC. With each story and video my heart for this ministry grows, but even now my FAVORITE way to pack shoeboxes is WITH KIDS!

This past weekend Calvary Chapel Klamath Falls Oregon had their packing party with the children's ministry. They collect items all year round, based on sales, and now they get to pack the boxes. The kids LOVE IT. They are blessed by giving. And I am blessed watching them and listening to them as they carefully pick items to bless a child.

Wednesday night another church in town will have their packing party.... they gather in a blitz in the weeks leading up to the party. And these children will also get to share in the joy of giving and praying and loving others.

Next week, the Good News Club I teach will also pack shoeboxes.... again I will share the stories of the work God is doing through these boxes... we will pray... and pack... and be blessed.

Packing parties are happening around my county, across the state, the US, and in many parts of the world.... RIGHT NOW... so that other children will be blessed, and receive these gifts of love, with the Gospel message. 

Children giving to children... it is a beautiful thing.

Friday, November 1, 2013

2013 Peru Distribution

Some of the boxes from our area went to Peru this year... do you see YOUR box? Enjoy!

Shop Amazon through Amazon Smile to benefit Samaritan's Purse!

From Clip With Purpose:

Amazon Smile 

Amazon has started a give back program to a charity of your choice!  I chose Samaritan’s Purse (the parent organization of Operation Christmas Child).  It costs nothing to participate – a portion of your purchases goes directly to your charity.
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.