Posts tagged ‘operation christmas child’

Kindness is Filling Operation Christmas Child Boxes

This post is part of #Write31Days where bloggers write every day in October on one topic. I am writing about Acts of Kindness, random and otherwise. It is my hope that my community and I are different as a result of this 31 Day Series.


Christmas, shopping, and loving on kiddos. When a project combines all three, I am in. Therefore, I am totally in when it comes to Operation Christmas Child. Ever since 2002, I have packed at least three shoe boxes each year. One year I packed as many boxes as I was old (55 of them).

Last year, a friend and I started a church crafting/sewing group to make items for our OCC boxes and to collect items year round.

  • We sew bags for jacks, marbles, and Legos.
  • We sew backpacks that the box will fit into.
  • We sew pillowcase dresses and dolls.
  • And finally we sew cloth menstrual bags with an accompanying purse to hold the bags.

If we have more items than we need, we send the extras items along with our boxes to the processing facility. Extras are always needed because some folks don’t FILL up their boxes. And some folks don;t read the directions and send things that HAVE to be taken out, like … glass items … war related clothing and toys … dirty and/or broken things … food … liquids.

This is such a cool way to show love (kindness with work boots on).

  • Most of these impoverished kiddos will get only ONE box in their life time.
  • For some kiddos, this is the only gift they’ll ever receive. It is something they’ll never forget.
  • This is a way to help the kiddos I know to develop their kindness muscle (by being involved in OCC). I’ve packed boxes with my nieces and my granddaughter.

This action of filling a shoe box for an impoverished child I’ll never see, is a kind action. It is kind because the box portrays the idea that someone sees them and cares enough for them to send a gift. This gift does not greatly change their physical environment, but my prayer is that it changes their emotional environment. That it brings a bit of hope. We all need hope. And hope makes a difference.

Your Turn . . . Have you asked anyone to join this OCC Kindness Army? . . .How are you involved in OCC? If you need ideas, read on …

  • Contribute money for the shipping cost ($9). 
  • Contribute several items to a location or person that collects year round. My church is such a place.
  • Make up an/or collect filler items and donate these. One such items is school supplies. The Pencil Granny gives great suggestions on what to load into your zip lock baggie.
  • Pack your own box. Go here for directions.

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

Go here for yesterday’s post:

Related Posts . . . 

Previous #Write31Days Topics

Thanks go to Elizabeth Symington for making my #Write31Days button and basic graphic for the kindness quotes. Elizabeth is writing a 31 days series on Summer of Service in Yosemite.

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Friday’s Fave Five September 8th, 2017

The week is over but we get to look back and reflect on 5 blessings. Sometimes, it is hard to find the blessings, and sometimes like this week, it is easy.

ONE. Decluttered. My decluttering efforts continuedI simplified the items in my bathroom and one bedroom closet. I came across this quote about clutter that makes a lot of sense. “Clutter is postponed decision-making,” Barbara Hemphill.

TWO. Safe home. I am grateful that my home is safe from natural disasters. I have asthma and the air quality right now is BAD on account of the multiple fires in my state. But my home is safe for me because I have a working air conditioner, 3 salt lamps and a portable air purifier. All these things helped me cope well.

THREE. Rest day. Monday was a holiday in the States, Labour Day. And this year, I took it as a rest day. I stayed home all day to nap, write, and read. Nap, write, and read. I was able to get the following book as an e-book from my library: Traces of Guilt (Evie Blackwell Cold Case #1/2) by Dee Henderson Thanks to Barb from Stray Thoughts for the book review that led me to this series.

FOUR. Shopped from my pantry. As I mentioned I didn’t go out on Monday and I was low on food. So I shopped from my pantry for meals that day. For one meal I made salmon burgers with avocado humus. I’ve had the can of salmon for a while and I have to admit I procrastinated because I thought it would be gross. But i wasn’t. It was tasty.

My daughter is modeling a dress that was made for the 10-14 year old group.

FIVE. Packed boxes. A small group of the Operation Christmas Child group (from our church) met to pack up the supplies we’ve been collecting and sewing. Our closet (at church) was full and it was hard to determine what we still needed. We packed 48 boxes! Some of the boxes still need a couple of things. But this is a great start as they aren’t due until mid November.

Your Turn . . . What events captured your gratitude attention from this past week? Express your gratitude in the comments below. Or write your own post and link p at Susanne’s place for Friday’s Fave Five.

What I Wrote This Week . . . 

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1st Quarter Review of 55th Birthday Yearlong Plan

Thsi year when I blew out the candles, I had more in mind than birthday wishes. I had a plan: a Yearlong Birthday Plan.

This year when I blew out the candles, I had more in mind than birthday wishes. I had a plan: a Yearlong Birthday Plan.

TIME to share how well I am doing with my birthday yearlong plan. I wrote in detail here what I want to accomplish in 9 areas in my yearlong plan.

One. Collect 55 Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. I’ve packed 19 boxes so far!!! Go here for this first quarter update.

Two. Raise $4,000 so I can go to India in July. I have about $2,200. We have had a car wash and yard sale. 3 more events are coming up . . .

  • June 29th – yard sale and car wash (if enough people to help)
  • July 4th – sell food & drink before/during parade
  • July 6th – India Dinner & Raffle

Three. Practice gratitude 55 times. I have not been very intentional about this besides writing Friday’s Fave Five and two posts on gratitude. The posts are Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss – a book review and Choosing Gratitude And Why It Matters.

Four. Move 55 minutes daily. I have not progressed in my daily minutes count – still at 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.

Five. Write 55 posts. I have written 50 posts so far. In April I was part of the Blogging  From A-Z Challenge and I wrote 23 posts that month. I am so sure I can reach my goal of 55 posts.

If you want to see what I’ve written go to my right side bar (towards the bottom). “Stuff I’ve Written and When.” There is a monthly archive.

Six. Create 55 times. Go here to read about the things I created this first quarter.

Seven. Read 55 books. 14 read, 41 left to go.

Here is what I’ve read so far.

1. Fearfully & Wonderfully Made by Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey
2. Acts of Love: The Power of Encouragement by David Jeremiah
3. Plan B by Anne Lamott
4. The Mysterious Voyage of Captain Kidd by A.B.C. Whipple
5. The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
6. Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
7. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
8. The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
9. Johannes Kepler: Giant of Faith and Science by John Tiner
10.The Quest for Character by Charles Swindoll
11. Masters of Mystery: 56 Short Stories of Mystery, Intrigue, & Suspense (by different authors)
12. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
13. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
14. Secrets of the Vine for Women: Breaking Through to Abundance by Darlene Wilkinson

Eight. Do 55 things from previous bucket lists. I haven’t even looked at these lists, so I probably haven’t done any of them.

Nine. Bake 55 pies. I have made 7 pies so far. Below are the reviews.

1. Raspberry Freeze Pie
2. Derby Pie
3. Apple Pie
4. Dark Chocolate Cream Pie
5. Strawberry Yogurt Pie
6. Toll House Pie
7. Tamale Pie

Tally – 5 of the categories are going GREAT, 1 is okay, and 3 are a fail (so far). Come back in September for the next review.

Your Turn . . . 

  • Did you make any goals on your birthday this year? If yes, how’s it going?
  • If not yet, what would you like to accomplish before your next birthday?

Related Posts . . .

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1st Quarter Review of 55th Birthday Yearlong Plan: Collect 55 OCC Boxes

There are about 20 weeks until it’s time to turn in Operation Christmas Child boxes. That seems soon, right?


What’s in your cupboard? Some of mine are full of Operation Christmas Child Boxes.

My goal is to collect 55 boxes and shipping fee for each box by the November 2013 deadline. Right now I have 19 boxes. 10 for boys and 9 for girls.

There are 3 age ranges to buy for: 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14. From what I’ve read the most popular group to buy for is the 5-9 year old group. So I’ve been concentrating on the 2-4 age group and most especially the 10-14 year old group.

During this next quarter I am going to collect enough stuff for 15 boxes for the oldest group: 10-14 year-olds.

Several folks have asked if they could help me with this endeavor – YOU BET!!!!! Below is a list of items I’ll be collecting. This list is geared toward the 10-14 year olds.

The recommendation is to put at last one thing into the box from each of the following categories:


  • Bar Soap (MILD) and bagged to keep smell from getting into candy
  • Comb or Brush
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine Hygiene
  • Grooming Supplies: good quality – nail clippers, tweezers, emery boards
  • Hair Accessories: ribbon, larger hair clips, elastics
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste – make sure it isn’t expired
  • Washcloth


  • Blank cards for writing notes to friends/family
  • Crayons/Colored Pencils
  • Eraser(s)
  • More complicated coloring books or sketch pads
  • Paper/Notepad
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Solar Powered Calculator


  • Fishing Kit: pill bottles with fishing hooks, line, sinkers
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Knitting needles/crochet hook and yarn
  • Sewing Kit: needles, thread, buttons, ribbon, pins, fabric (1 yard), scissors
  • Small Tools: Good Quality – hammer, screwdriver, nails, screws, measuring tape (metric), duct tape, pliers
  • Water Bottle or Cup


  • Balls, deflated with pumps or beach balls
  • Toy Cars
  • Harmonica
  • Jacks
  • Jewelry or beads to make their own
  • Jump Ropes
  • Legos
  • Marbles
  • Model Kits for the boys
  • More difficult craft kits like cross stitch or embroidery
  • More difficult puzzles
  • Tic Tac Toe
  • Toys like paddle ball, yo-yo, cards or card games, travel games


  • Chewing Gum – double bag the gum
  • Hard Candy & Lollipops – double bag these


  • Stuffed animal


  • Flip Flops
  • Gloves/Scarf/Winter Hat
  • Purse/Small Backpack
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Underwear


  • $7.00 Shipping Fee
  • Greeting Card/Note to Child
  • Photo of your family
  • Shoebox – either cardboard or good quality plastic
  • Tote Bag

Your Turn . . .

  • Have you ever packed an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox? If yes, what is your favourite thing to include? Have any buying or packing tips?
  • If you’d like to help with this project, leave a comment or email me.

Related Posts for What to Put in a Box. . . If you make any extra of the following and want to donate here, please do!

Related Posts from Frutifulwords . . .

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O: My OPERATION Christmas Child Plan is to Collect 55 Shoe Boxes

Sometimes you have to attempt something miraculous in order to jump start your faith or to change your attitude.


As of April 15, 2013, I have collected 10 boxes. I only have 45 more boxes to go.

That’s why I am collecting FIFTY-FIVE filled shoe boxes for the November 2013 Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoe box drive at my church.

I want my faith to grow leaps and bounds. And I want my attitude to change.

So why am I doing this?

Since mid-February I’ve been in a funk, an age-related funk. I wasn’t thrilled about turning 55 in March. Mainly because I am not where I thought I’d be in most areas of my life. And to be middle-aged and disappointed with yourself (and circumstances) is a yucky place to be.

However, I am not going to let myself stew. So I’ve come up with a plan, a 55th birthday year-long plan. Go here to read the whole plan.

This post will deal with the shoe boxes. Samaritan’s Purse (an international relief organization) sponsors Operation Christmas Child. This is a collection of shoes boxes (cardboard or plastic) that are filled with age-appropriate items for needy children all over the world. Go here to see what’s in the boxes.

I am part of this heart-touching ministry. For years I have donated 2 -3 boxes each November.

I help with this ministry because I am a parent, auntie and missionary. Did you know that you are a missionary too? Read this post to see why I believe this.

So now you know my goal and the why behind my goal. And you probably figured out that this is something that requires the help of God in order for me to accomplish.

Want to help? If yes, then . . .

  1. Pray. Pray that this goal is met. Pray for the recipients of the boxes. Pray for their families, schools, and communities. 
  2. Give  a shoebox, cardboard or plastic. If you donate a plastic shoebox, please give a better quality one. That way it will withstand being packed in a carton and shipped with weight on top of it.
  3. Give items for the shoeboxes. Soon I will post what kinds of things I am collecting. In the meantime you can go to this link for suggestions, in case you want to go shopping TODAY.
  4. Give a $7.00 donation.  A donation of $7 or more helps cover project expenses such as shipping the boxes. I can send the box in your name and you can see what country it ends up in.
  5. Give a filled shoebox. You can do that as a family, work unit, neighbors, or a single person. Of course I would put your name as the sender of the box.

Several years ago I interviewed Kathy, one of the OCC co-ordinators at our church. She had this to say about the importance of our involvement.

t’s our job to be good stewards of our money. The cost of filling one shoebox is a great investment. The blessing goes from the child upwards to the parents who often don’t have the financial means to give a gift to their child. 

For some children this is the first gift they’ve ever received.

Then the blessings go outwards to the community. And whole communities have been changed by one simple shoebox.

I am wondering how and with whom God will answer this prayer.

Your Turn . . . Contact me if you’d like to help through prayer or donation.

Related articles


NOTE: This post is written for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. There are 22 categories and my category is MI = Miscellaneous.

During the month of April I will post 26 times finishing up posts that have been in my draft fie for at least a year. For a list of all the posts go to the A-Z button on my header.

Today’s letter is O. The topic is OPERATION Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

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I Help Because I am a Parent, Auntie & Missionary

Nov 5 & 6 Photo of the Day 055When I participate in Operation Christmas Child, I do so as an adult on behalf of the children in my life: my 2 adult kids and my 5 nieces. I fill a box because I’d hope someone would do the same if one of my “children” was in the same situation. Like one year, I donated 2 shoeboxes to a boy and girl the same ages as my children.

Another year I made up boxes with my three nieces who attend CNC. As I fill a box, I pray for God’s help in picking the items. I also ask God to bless the child and bring joy and salvation to him or her

One word that describes the situation of the children who receive these boxes is lack. Because of things like famine, drought, earthquakes and war these innocents lack adequate housing, healthcare, water, food, family support, toys, and school supplies. I can’t do anything about most of these lacks, but I can help by providing toys, school supplies and hygiene products.

So I join with others in Operation Christmas Child because I am a parent and an auntie.

I also do so because I am a missionary. A missionary is a person who intentionally spreads a faith often accompanied by charitable work, usually in a foreign country. Operation Christmas Child fits that bill. They consider each person who fills a box as a missionary because our work of filling a box provides an opportunity for a child to learn that God is good and that salvation is available to them.

As you fill boxes with your children let them know that they too are missionaries.

Franklin Graham, founder of Operation Christmas Child, says one of the most important things we (missionaries) can do is to pray as we fill our boxes. Let’s ask God that the child who receives the box and discipleship material that Operation Christmas Child includes will lead the child to know God’s love and salvation.

These boxes go into remote locations and are delivered by dog sled, bicycles, donkeys, and camels. This gift of a shoe box opens the way for the gospel to be shared which leads to hope. These children who experience so much lack desperately need hope. Our boxes provide that hope.

Consider today how blessed you and your families are. I know that for some of us, filling a box is a sacrifice. Maybe some of us can get together to fill a box? But do consider what a huge impact that sacrifice will have in the life of a child who knows lack in so many areas.

Here’s my prayer.

Father, Thank you that Operation Christmas Child  is one way we can bring joy, hope and salvation to children living in hard circumstances. Help us to discern what to put in the box and how much to spend.

Father, we ask that you would bring extra money our way so we can participate generously in this missionary opportunity. Thank you for the many blessings you have given us. Help us to give in response to those blessings. I ask that you would pour your love into our hearts so that they are captured by the fervor of spreading the gospel. Amen.

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60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

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