Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's Starting to Feel a Lot Like Christmas...

...which means I'm working on my Operation Christmas Child boxes!

If you don't know about Operation Christmas Child, check out:

Every year I do six boxes and I start collecting at the beginning of the year with the Christmas clearance sales! From there, I load up on whatever clearance sales and loss leaders I find. Nail clippers for .40c, cute plastic cups for .10c, toothbrushes 2 for $1 and so on. I get friends to give me the toys out of kid meals they get (since a lot of us buy them for the smaller portions). Back to school sales in August are a gold mine. And it's usually pretty easy to talk an event coordinator into giving you a few leftover T shirts when you say why you want them. (And I give them a pamphlet for Operation Christmas Child too!)

I save coins to pay the requested $7 a box processing donation and to buy the one thing I don't cost cut on...sturdy Rubbermaid totes with locking lids. I figure the box should be part of the gift. And this year, I'm going to make some simple tote bags of denim just the right size to carry the box, with a handle long enough to sling over their shoulder.

An underbed box in the guest room stashes my treasures until early November. Then I pull out the stored goodies and have a wonderful evening of box packing. We have hot chocolate and cookies as we sort, pack and close each box.

The final thing we put in is a letter to the child who will receive it, with our picture and our prayers and wishes to them. All of our boxes are made for boys in the oldest age level, as that is what OCC receives the least of.

We have been fortunate in that we know where two of our boxes have ended up. One went to Sudan. It was pictured in the annual report for that year! I was SO excited! The other went to Jamaica. The boy who received it wrote us back and sent his picture! What fun!

I wonder where my 2007 boxes will end up?

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Reason Why

I just recently was asked why my sponsor kids and writing buddies and nephews & nieces of the heart are so important to me.

I thought about it for a while and it occured to me why I do this...the reason my kids are important to me, is that in this scary, screwed-up world they bring me HOPE and a feeling that maybe, just maybe, I can have a wee role in making it not so screwed-up.