It’s no secret how much I despise Halloween and all of its ugliness. But now we have a reason to look forward to 31 October. It is the day we finish our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes ( http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/ ).
We pull out the container of items we’ve picked up thru the year and sort them into piles on the table. After all the months, we really don’t remember everything we have. I know there will be a good supply of school items – I get those during the back to school sales. Can’t beat .15c for a notebook or .25c for a ruler.
After we do an inventory of what we have, we head out for the evening. First stop is to the Dollar Tree and then to Wal-Mart. After our shopping is done we go out someplace nice for supper.
And then the best part… putting together our shoeboxes! We use plastic containers. The container is the first gift. We line the bottom with a towel. Since you can see thru the plastic this fabric is our “wrapping paper” and is the second gift. Then it’s time to STUFF the box. There are school supplies – notebooks, pencils, erasers, rulers, etc. This year I found backpacks on clearance for $1 each. Those took some tight rolling to compress them down! Always put hygiene items in – toothbrushes, combs, soap, tweezers, etc. Items to eat with – a plastic bowl & cup, and a spoon. And of course these are for children and there must be toys! Cars, balls, puzzles, a musical instrument, and a soft “lovie”. And this year we were able to put in 2 shirts and 2 pair of socks – given to us by people who know about our box packing. Sounds like a lot to fit in a large shoebox, doesn’t it? I am a master packer!
Oh… I forgot about the final gift. And according to Samaritan’s Purse, the most important gift. We enclose a Christmas card in which we write a note to the child and enclose a photo of us. We’ve been blessed to receive 3 letters over the years from children who have gotten one of our boxes. Jamaica, Philippians and India. And one year in the annual report newsletter, a photo showed one of our boxes being opened by a boy in Sudan. Wow!
Every year since we were told by the Operation Christmas Child region representative that the boxes they run out of first are the ones for boys 10 to 14 years old, we have done 6 boxes for that age range.
But this year we’ve added one more box. A box for a little girl in the youngest age range – 2 to 4 years old. This is in honor of our new niece Little Bird. We will keep doing this box. We are looking forward to next year scooping up this little sweetie and taking her shopping to fill that shoebox. As the years pass we will do shoeboxes that correspond to Little Bird’s age.
We’re looking forward to it…