It’s that time of year again… time to pack our OCC shoeboxes!
If you’ve never heard of Operation Christmas Child, here are some quickie facts!
1. OCC was founded in 1990.
2. OCC was officially “adopted” in 1993 by Samaritan's Purse, a Christian organization founded by Franklin Graham.
3. Since its inception, OCC has distributed over 100 million shoeboxes to kids around the world.
4. OCC shoeboxes are given to children regardless of race, gender, or religion.
5. Children who receive shoeboxes are also given the opportunity to attend a 12-lesson discipleship program called “The Greatest Journey” run by local churches.
6. Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts are collected in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Finland, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, and the United States.
7. In 2014, shoeboxes will be distributed in Uruguay, El Salvador, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea, Costa Rica, Guinea, Haiti, Nicaragua, Chile (including Easter Island), and Senegal.
What I personally love about this ministry is that it’s so easy to do that anyone can get involved!
Step One is to pick up your box(es)! Click HERE to find a Collection Center near you!
Step Two is to put those neat little boxes together (believe me, it’s not as easy as it looks but it CAN be done!)
Step Three is to decide what gender and age range your box will be for. You can select either boy or girl ranging in age from 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14!
Step Four is to start filling your box with goodies! Mine is still a work in progress, haha.
|Started out with two items... soap and a toothbrush.|
|This flute was too long to pack... until I realized they come apart!|
|A jumbled mess...|
|Remember that soap has to be put in a separate bag!|
NOTE: The dollar store is a GREAT place to find items! If you’re looking for more ideas, here are 101 ideas compiled by Kelly Hancock.
ALSO NOTE: Remember that you should not include any liquid (perfume, hand sanitizer), anything that will break (mirrors, snow globes), anything that will melt (certain candies, lip balm), anything used (due to customs restrictions), any guns, knives, or war-related items (such as G.I. Joes or army men. Many of these children have been traumatized by war), or anything that will scare or hurt a child (Halloween items come to mind). Hard candies are okay as long as they are individually wrapped and double-bagged, such as pictured below!
Step Five is to include a photo of yourself/ your family, and write a note to include! The children are so blessed to know that someone loves them and to be able to match a face to their presents! If you live in Canada, HERE is a printable note that you can personalize!
Step Six is to wrap your box (if you desire. If you choose to wrap the box, please wrap the lid separately to ensure staff can open the boxes to check the contents.)
Step Seven is to affix the label with the chosen gender/age of the child!
Step Eight is to include a $7 donation which will help cover costs to get the box to its destination!
And Step Nine… drop the box off at the collection center! And you’re DONE!
And just in case you need a little motivation to get started… take a few seconds to watch this!