Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Operation Christmas Child & Service project

Wanted to share some photos from our time at Operation Christmas Child.  This is such a wonderful experience!  I highly recommend it to anyone able to do it.  You need to be at least 13 years old and the reservations go quickly!  We called the day that the registration opened (I think it was Aug 1st) to get our group signed on.

There are 7 facilities in different states.  We are blessed to have 2 here in NC.  We drove to the Charlotte facility to work.  Since it was soooo close ... we made a stop by Ikea on the way.  LOL  What a fun store!

 We met some friends to work with again this year.  We started out in the training area, learning about the various steps in the process.
 From inspecting boxes to packaging, each person has a different role.
 We started out in an area where there were lots of extra things donated for the boxes.  More  boxes are filled with these extra things and brought to the stations.  If there is a shoebox that has to have something removed (ex. liquid items that can't be shipped), then more things can be put into the box.  Or if a box just has room for more things, there are options here to add.
 Met my long-time FIAR friend Bo and her daughter too!  Wish we had more time to chat - we'll have to plan that better next year.  :-)
 Lots of smiles because this really is a fun place to work.  Its neat to hear the stories of how the boxes have touched and changed people's lives!  Changed lives ... all from a shoebox!  God is good!
 My girl hard at work!
 A  picture of the "lines" where the boxes are inspected and then packed to be shipped.  The large boxes are labelled for age group (2-4, 5-9, 10-14) and gender.      
 Rebecca and I in front of the filler area.
 Loved seeing this in one of the boxes!  This is a book from our homeschool curriculum and I loved thinking about a little boy or girl in another country reading this sweet story.  :-)
 After working in the filler area for awhile, we then moved to one of the lines.  We again were given different jobs.  Some inspected boxes, others helped label boxes and some helped pack boxes.  This is also the area where boxes were scanned if the person sending it asked for a notice of where the box was sent.
 There is a list of things to look for that can't be included in the box.  Things are only removed if necessary and the integrity of the box is kept intact as much as is possible.
 The goal was to get at least 15 shoeboxes into each large shipping box.  The green and red "official" boxes sure were easy to pack!  It was challenging to pack the various sizes - kind of like working a puzzle so that you could maximize the space and the number of boxes!
 This is a view from the upper level of the warehouse floor.
Just getting ready to leave.  We had a wonderful time working and look forward to going again next year.  Roger was sweet to stay home with our younger children so that Rebecca and I could enjoy this day out.
All the volunteers are given an OCC shirt.
We treated ourselves to Olive Garden on the way home.  It was a long, fun and fulfilling day spent with people I really enjoy being with.
We also did a service project with our FIAR homeschool group.  This is one we have done for a number of years and it has worked well with the age range of our group.  We make fleece blankets to donate to children in a local shelter.  

 We also make cards to go along with the blankets.
 There is something for everyone and we end with a potluck lunch.
 Having done this for a few years now, more are comfortable with cutting and making the blankets and that is fun too.
 I love seeing the variety in all that is made.  I imagine it blessing so many children.
 We pray over the blankets and the people who will be receiving them.  I'm thankful we can serve our community in this way.
 I'm thankful for friends that are willing to serve.
I would love to find more projects that we can do throughout the year that are things a wide range of ages can do.  My youngest is a little challenging in some arenas.  *grin*  Anyone have any suggestions?



  1. I love this service idea. I can't wait until my kids are old enough.

  2. Had such a good time with you at OCC! And the blankets sound like a wonderful idea that we might have to try.

    You are such a fun mom!

  3. Don't know why it struck me as funny but the two eating photos are the exact (EXACT!) same poses. Just thought it was cute.

  4. Oh Leslie! I LOVED seeing what all went into the Operation CC project. What fun to see behind the scenes and take part in it. Loved seeing Bo's smiling face too. Wish we could have joined y'all. If we were still in Charlotte- we would have. :)

  5. Holy Cow that is an elaborate production-never knew! Glad you were able to do IKEA too-did you find those items you were missing back in Aug? Was it boxes? or shelves or something? Love the blanket idea-when we did Girl Scouts-we'd pack bags for when a mom/children came to the safe house shelter w/stuff they would need for the nite and that was always fun to do. Lovely ideas for sure-great post.

  6. Dawn - You will love it. Maybe we can meet up there one year. :-)

    Bo - Loved being with you! Next time, we'll have to meet up before and/or afterwards!

    Sheri - They planned those photos to look the same! LOL You are good to have caught it!

    Jen - I wish you could have gone with us!

    Sheri - It is an amazing process with a lot of work in planning! We were missing shelves and yes, did get them. :-)


I love hearing from friends!!! Thank you for taking time to leave a comment!