It’s the craziest time of the year! It’s Operation Christmas Child Collection Week at work. Most of you know, I work in a bookstore. What you might not know, is that it is a Collection Center for Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes the week before Thanksgiving, in November. That’s right, for one full week work becomes a well-organized chaotic mess. See those boxes? They’re called crates and each one of them is crammed as safely as possible with
Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. If you don’t know what Operation Christmas Child is, click here and you’ll be redirected to their home page. It’s a part of Samaritan’s Purse, overseen by Franklin Graham. Our part of helping Operation Christmas Child is collecting the boxes others have packed in our area and then crating them, and putting them on the tractor-trailer truck which is parked out back. Each truck carries between 3,000 and 5,000 shoe boxes. Their destination is the processing center in North Carolina where they’ll be checked, sorted and designated
for countries all over the world.
Sounds easy, right?
It is, and it isn’t. The store doesn’t stop being a bookstore, we just add to our tasks by putting Operation Christmas Child on top of everything else that needs to be done. There are log books to be meticulously filled, boxes to be counted and re-counted and just physically finding a space for all the boxes in the stock room is a triumph of faith over mathematical certainties. I’m pretty certain that we bend the physical proportions of the back room every year. Last year we took in over 10,000 shoe boxes (thankfully not all at once) and this year, with the push to the 100 millionth shoe box we’re expecting even more. But, with less of these very important people:
Hardly anyone has contacted the store to volunteer. Less of these heroes, means a steeper uphill climb for the rest of us this week. Christ will make a way, it is true. He knows exactly how He’s going to get us through this time; but at this point, less than 24 hours from “go”, I haven’t got a clue how we are going to make it. So if you are in an area where Operation Christmas Child will be collecting shoe boxes, PLEASE call the collection and relay centers in your area and PLEASE volunteer. I’m 100% certain, my store isn’t the only place that’s short handed.
You might see shoe boxes packed with a handful of things here but the reality is, they’re love bombs.
I’ve heard so many amazing stories from people this week, who can’t wait to bring in their shoe boxes. Some in the past have done ten or more but this year are only doing one or two. That doesn’t matter in the least. Every box matters.
Because every child receiving a box, matters. They are of infinite value, the little ones that get the shoe boxes. And no matter what the cost of the shoe box you put together, the value of it upon being handed to them, is priceless.
Have you worked with Operation Christmas Child? Is this your first year? Have a story to tell or a tip to share? Write it in the comments below!