The Operation Christmas Child year-round committee just had their first dinner meeting of the year, and brought all the food and stories for a motivational and marvelous evening. If you’re new to the blog…here’s a little info about OCC from a post we made earlier last year!
“Operation Christmas Child uses simple, gift-filled shoeboxes to show hurting children that they are loved, globally…”
So, in a nutshell…what OCC does, is help volunteer teams excite and educate their communities into packing shoeboxes with items such as toys, school supplies, hygiene kits, and personal notes that get shipped ALL over the world to hurting children in need. You simply fill your box, specify whether it’s for a boy or girl, include $7 for shipping and bring it to a local drop off in your area during National Collection Week: Nov. 17th-24th.”
Getting a head start on putting organization in place will ensure a successful 2014! Our agenda for the night included:
– Start up efforts
– Susan’s Shoe box Distribution Adventure to Rwanda
– Packing Party Ideas, Countdown events, + other Important dates to be set and discusssed
– Delicious Potluck dishes + Time to reunite with old friends (We made our Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches for dinner and we’ll be sharing the Recipe on Friday!)
A member of our local Las Vegas Team, Susan Elliott was honored with the once in a lifetime privilege of going to Rwanda for a ShoeBox Distribution Trip! She shared with us some unbelievable stories, including a DVD of her trip, and these moving and phenomenal photos. It’s said that every child gets the exact box that they need, and we’re so thankful for these boxes getting to these children, and for Susan to have been the one to distribute them. Susan shared that Rwanda was a beautiful country full of warm and welcoming people who were just “on fire” with faith!
On these distribution trips, volunteers like Susan get to witness children participating in the “Greatest Journey” discipleship program, where Susan even got to lead the first lesson with the pastor. The children sung songs they had learned, as well as shared their experiences and passion to be in this life changing program.
Our local Las Vegas Team packed a special box, for Susan to take with her to give to a special girl. As we said, we know that each box goes to the exact child that God intended it for, and this little girl had broken shoes. Well, Susan knew there was a pair of sparkly sandals…just right for her.
Susan got to witness many children opening these boxes that had travelled thousands and thousands of miles to reach them. Each child was overjoyed, especially with items such as cars, candy, and dolls that they had never seen before! Many of the girls had their heads shaved, to save them from getting lice so they were beside themselves with happiness to receive head bands, and also enjoyed adorning their faces and heads with stickers! Susan also shared the incredible happiness these children felt just to be hugged, have their hands held, and be touched. They loved playing with her hair, and went in for hug after hug! 🙂
Susan shared stories of the affect that genocide has had on these families, and these children…stories you just can’t imagine that truly inspire each and every one of us to make a difference through Operation Christmas Child.
Hygiene kits are an imperative part of the packing of a shoebox! You’d never believe how happy these children were to learn to brush their teeth!
69,552 shoebox gifts from the United States were delivered to children in Rwanda, in the 2013 -2014 season, and the fact that Susan was chosen to participate in the distribution of boxes packed waaaay back in November for these children, is just mind blowing! The work that Samaritan’s Purse does every year is life-changing for children around the world, and volunteers like Susan are specially chosen to make it happen!
All of us enjoyed this gathering of friendship and follow up for one of our favorite charities…Operation Christmas Child. You can learn more about OCC HERE at their website, and also HERE where we featured our Las Vegas area packing party last year! This year, we have a few items that we’re definitely IN NEED of: we’re on the look out for toothpaste and wash cloths for hygiene kits, as well as pieces of hard candy for each box. Susan shared that the children especially loved candy canes, as well as Dum-Dum’s!
Are you interested in joining the Las Vegas Team or participating in an OCC event? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com and we’ll get you everything you need!
Stay tuned Friday for our 4 Tips to Pot-Luck Perfect Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches!