If you aren’t familiar with OCC, I’d love to take a small opportunity to share with you about it! For the last few years, our family and church has participated in this wonderful ministry that really blesses children and allows us to really be reminded of the needs of others. Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is a seasonal charity sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse. It makes it so easy to pack up a small gift(s) for a child in need, drop it off at a convenient location, and share the gift of love and generosity with families all around the world. Participants pack up a shoe box (or plastic box of similar size) filled with gender and age appropriate gifts (there are certain age brackets that you can choose from) and then those gifts are distributed to families that would never have been able to give to their children otherwise! Through OCC, millions of children in countries all over the world are told that they are loved, a beautiful creation, and worthy through a simple box of gifts! National Collection Week is November 17-24, so if you would like to pack up a few boxes, you absolutely still have the time!
In our home, we are always trying to think of ways to help Abigail think outside of her own little world. We’ve found OCC to be such an amazing way to do this with her. We’re able to choose whether we want to collect for a boy or girl(we usually choose the age range that she is) and then throughout the year we pick up small items to put in our boxes for kids who are less fortunate. I always have her choose things she would really, really like to have and then watch her learn to give that away to a child who doesn’t have anything. Last year, we registered our boxes online and found that they had been shipped to Mexico. Shortly thereafter, we received a magazine from Samaritan’s Purse that had photos of children in Mexico opening up their boxes! It was amazing to show her the pictures of the actual children who had received our boxes and to look up where they are on the map and to be able to pray specifically for these children. Talk about powerful!!
Last Saturday, our church had our own OCC packing party. Our church family has been bringing items for the past year and putting them in a specific collections area. Our organizer, Karol, put together this super organized and efficient packing party. She had everything laid out so that we could grab a box, choose boy/girl, age range, and then fill it up. Abigail and I worked together and packed up 4 boxes. 2 boy and 2 girl boxes 🙂 She meticulously chose their items and it was just the best thing to watch her do. I am highly convinced that small children are so much more in tune to the promptings of the Holy Spirit that when she chose something that needed to be added to a box, we absolutely added it!
The boys table
The girls tables
A card making station where you could fill out and include a personal letter from your family to the child who is getting a box.
Candy of course!
Our label making station 🙂
Our church ended up packing 60 boxes! Before we finished we all gathered around and laid our hands on the boxes and prayed for them and the children who will be receiving them.At our next MOPS meeting we are going to pack even more boxes and I am so excited to do it! Last meeting we had a wonderful young woman from Russia come speak about how she had received a box many years ago and the story was so powerful that even when I retold it to Jim he cried with me. I mean, really, these boxes change lives. There is a divine and holy occurrence that happens when they are delivered. God knows each of those little lives intimately and He uses us to give them exactly what He knows they need. Such a blessing to be a part of it!
If you are interested more in OCC feel free to comment or send me an email. I’d love to answer any questions you might have!
Have you ever participated in Operation Christmas Child?