Shoeboxes Headed to the Philippines {OCC 14}

One of our favorite times of the year has come and gone – Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing time! We collect items throughout the year for our packing during National Collection Week in November. (I shared about how we collect items in one of our previous posts (at the end of this post).)

Norm and I had taken part in packing shoeboxes even before our dating years (17ish years ago), and I’m glad it is one of the traditions we have kept as a family. I guess I didn’t document our shoebox packing adventures before 4 years ago, but here’s a look down memory lane:
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We brought boxes to MOPS and Awana this year, and I just found out that some of our boxes are going to the Philippines and also to some restricted areas.
Capture occboxAnd it’s not just immediate family tradition, here are boxes that my sister and my brother packed this year too!
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If you would prefer to just donate instead of pack a box, you can Build Your Shoebox Online anytime of the year.

The shoebox that a child receives is not only a gift of hope, but it is also a gift of good news. CLICK TO TWEET

More videos: Sharing God with a Gift | The Peace of Letting Go

Here are some great resources and spiritual impact stories to encourage you:

Have you packed a shoebox before? What are some of your favorite items to include? Are you following your box? Where is it headed this Christmas?

You can read more of our Operation Christmas Child posts:
2010 – Shoebox Packing | Update
2011 – Operation Christmas Child 2011
2012 – Operation Christmas Child 2012 | Update
2013 – Operation Christmas Child 2013

Just Water, Please

If we went to a restaurant together, and the waiter/waitress comes to take our drink orders, you will hear me saying, “Just water, please.” No, it’s not because I’m cheap frugal, or on some kind of weird diet, but I seriously love water. It’s my favorite drink. I like it either hot or ice cold. I’m not sure why I’m not a fan of it at room temp.

Anyway, where was I? Yes, water. Soooo good!

But you know what? Water, clean water, is not accessible to everyone.

It is estimated that 1.58 million people die each year from diarrheal diseases caused by unclean water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene habits. This is equivalent to one person dying every 20 seconds. The majority of these are children in developing countries.

And you know what else? You can change that! Yes, you, sitting there reading this blog post. You can find out all about the URGENT Water Project that Samaritan’s Purse is doing to give hope to families – Freshwater Wells.

Samaritan's Purse 2013 Gift Catalog

The stories behind the pictures:
The Gift of “Living Water” | Six Shareable Facts About Clean Water | More Water Projects
South Sudan Well Drilling and WASHSouth Sudan Well Drilling, WASHSamaritan's Purse Cambodia projects.To contribute to the Freshwater Wells project, it is a donation of $40. If you don’t have $40 right now, but you have $1, $5, $10, or $15, you can still make a difference. You can DONATE ONLINE any amount, or you can check out the GIFTS UNDER $15 starting at $4.

Samaritan's Purse 2013 Gift Catalog
What if, in the upcoming year, you pass on your drinks at the restaurants, and get water instead? Save what you would have spent to order a drink to give a gift next year. Together, we can build a well! Who’s joining us in building one this year?

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Operation Christmas Child 2013

Uncle Si + OCC 468-x-60If you follow along with Our Week in Photos, you should have seen some photos of the girls putting together their Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes in September. Yes, in September!! This was the earliest we have ever put them together because we save stuff throughout the year, and this year, the box that we keep it all in was bursting!

Norm and I have been taking part in Operation Christmas Child since before we were married. I can’t remember the first ones we made, but I think we were in college, so definitely more than a decade ago.

And can you believe that since its beginnings, Samaritan’s Purse have given out more than 100 million shoeboxes, and did I mention that I know the fantastic mama who helped give out the 100 millionth box? I DID, and I DO!

It’s so simple that kids can even do it! National Collection Week is coming up – November 18-25. Every child who gets a shoebox will be able to hear about how much Jesus loves them.

The shoebox that a child receives is not only a gift of hope, but it is also a gift of good news. CLICK TO TWEET

Love Your Neighbor: A Gift of Forgiveness in Rwanda
Alex Nsengimana, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, has a powerful story to share. “Alex recently returned to Rwanda to deliver shoebox gifts to the same orphanage where he received a gift himself. He also found the man who murdered his uncle who is now in prison. He met the man face-to-face and offered him forgiveness. This is a powerful testimony!” You can read more about ALEX on the Samaritan’s Purse website.

More videos: Sharing God with a Gift | The Peace of Letting Go

1313RW-C-155-Alexs-story-coverHey! It’s shoebox time, Jack!
Tell me you have heard of Duck Dynasty by now. I saw quite a few Duck Dynasty costumes this Halloween. Samaritan’s Purse is partnering with Si Robertson…or Uncle Si as many know him. The Lord has blessed 100 million children with shoebox gifts over the past 20 years, but there is still a great need to reach more children! Uncle Si will teach you how to pack your very own shoebox to send to a child in need of a small gift this Christmas. You can watch the video HERE as well as some ‘behind the scenes’ videos!

11-2Remember to use or follow the hashtags #occalex and #ShoeboxSi to keep up with the Operation Christmas Child adventures this year.

Here are some great resources and spiritual impact stories to encourage you:

Have you packed a shoebox before? What are some of your favorite items to include?

You can read more of our Operation Christmas Child posts:
2010 – Shoebox Packing | Update
2011 – Operation Christmas Child 2011
2012 – Operation Christmas Child 2012 | Update

Operation Christmas Child 2012

This year we had Operation Christmas Child on our minds all year long. We did the same thing that we did last year, saving up a few items here and there. It helps to really connect these items that we send to the child who will be receiving it.

Our MOPS group collected 85 shoeboxes this year!! And we added the boxes that were collected to those collected by Redwood Christian for over 200 shoeboxes. 🙂 Can’t you just imagine the smiles on the faces of the 200 children who will be receiving these boxes? It might be the only gift that some of these little ones will receive all year. National Collection Week has come and gone, but if you weren’t able to pack a shoebox, it’s NOT TOO LATE!! Click on over to Samaritan Purse’s website to BUILD-A-BOX!

Some more exciting stuff about Operation Christmas Child…..
OCC was started in 1990, and this Christmas, the 100 MILLIONTH shoebox will be delivered! Not only that, but it will be delivered by one of my blogging friends who I serve with on the Inspired to Action team, Amanda! And….not only that, but the 100 millionth shoebox will be delivered in the Dominican Republic where our Compassion child Solissa lives!!

Wrapping paper, collected items, and shoeboxes, oh my!

Choosing their shoebox wrapping paper

Bracelets – we’ve got lots to share!

We divided the items into the 2 shoeboxes.

Emily’s Box

Melody’s Box

Choosing which toothbrushes to put in

Squish – our method to put as much as possible into the boxes is to put smaller items into the bigger items



It fits!

Squish some more

And all the stuff fit into Melody’s shoebox as well. 🙂

There were actually a few more items not pictured that we put in there as well. I wonder how they go through all those shoeboxes to check on items before sending them off. I’m hoping that one day we will be able to go to a collection center to volunteer. How fun would that be!?

We totally did ours early this year (at the beginning of October I think…??) and then I completely forgot to take a picture of the girls holding their boxes. 😦 But here they are filling in their letters:

Did you pack a shoebox this year? What did you put in there?

Operation Christmas Child 2010 Shoebox Packing | Update | 2011