I remember when Mom and I used to do Angel Tree from the Lakeland Square Mall. I’ve now not done much of anything in that realm for Christmas for many years, although I would give to other organizations or missions endeavors. This year, I wanted to do an OCC box. So, I did, and delivered it to my local CFA who was giving away free sanctified chicken sandwiches with the drop-off of each box. It was fun shopping for my Girl, 10-14 with my friend, Tina.
I also had the opportunity to take a charter bus trek down to the Queen City and serve at the distribution center for OCC. They do have a well-oiled machine going there. We were given a short tutorial and then put right to work, not to miss much of our 6 hour shift. I got to work alongside friends and packed boxes that were going to Sudan and Malowi (sp?).
Coolest part of the day: Many of you know I’m writing curriculum for churches that will eventually be translated for the nations. So exciting. The first lesson we wrote was on the tower of Babel and one of the games was a Jenga tournament. One of my proofers said that people in other countires may not have Jenga games so I better have a alternate game they could do. Well, I just so happened to open a box and it had a jenga game inside. I was so excited. Right before I passed the box off to the next person, we stopped to pray over these boxes. I rested my two little hands on this one box and prayed for the child who would receive this box and wondered if God would ever allow them to study the story of the Tower of Babel and be able to play the Jenga game. So cool.
Here are some thoughts:
1. We are such a material culture. I thought much about this as I was searching the boxes for “unapproved” items. There were some boxes that were half empty and I thought, man I wouldn’t like to get that box. There were some that were full of school supplies and underwear, again, I would not be happy with that box. It tooks some cool toys, candy, notebooks, etc that made me smile at the box. I’m sure these children that get these boxes will be ecstatic just to get the box.
2. We are greedy. There were some pretty cool toys in some of those boxes. Can I find some of those toys?
If you are packing an OCC box this year (still) or will pack one in the future, please help your packers by remembering these helpful hints:
1. Follow the instructions. They come with every box or you can find them on the internet.
2. Don’t pack chocolate (except Tootsie Rolls, and I haven’t figured out if those are chocolate or not).
3. Any other type of candy is fine – PLEASE SEND IT. But, if you do, please put it in a baggy. That way, when we open it, it won’t go flying everywhere.
4. Don’t put liquids in the boxes. Liquids will be removed. If you want to give them hygiene stuff, send bars of soap, preferably not Irish Springs, wow – those bars are really strong!
5. Don’t put stuff with all English writing on it. Most of these boxes are going to places where the first language is not English. How would you feel if you got a book in Chinese and you don’t speak it and have no way to learn it?
6. Mix up the box some. Add some “helpful, useful” stuff in it (socks, udnerwear, notebooks, pencils, etC) and then also include fun stuff (toys, candy, etc). Wouldn’t you want your Christmas presents to be the same way.
7. Don’t wrap the box in a rubberband. We’ll just take off the rubberband and throw it away.
8. Don’t send your unwanted toys and used items. We’ll take them out. Would you want to get a bunch of dirty, used toys under your Christmas tree, probably not (unless you are a thrift store snob)!
9. Please pack a box. Make it a family mission opportunity. Pray for the children who might receive it. Have your children fill a box for a child the same age as they are. How fun it will be!
Give this season. It is definitely better to give than to receive.