Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Drop off day!

Today is the day, we say good by to all our boxes. 
All the fun we've had shopping all year, remembering the amazing deals God has placed in our path, and carefully putting together each box,  knowing that each box is going to a special boy or girl!

As I headed towards town on the bumpy gravel road I heard the maracas shaking, making music.  And it brought a smile to my face.  I wonder how the children will react to everything placed in their boxes. What is the one item they have been praying for? How will they be changed? And their family and their community?  What an amazing opportunity, a box wrapped in love and covered in prayer, can be.    What an honour it is be able to pack boxes, and give them away.

My mom and I had a car full this morning and we went to our neighbouring community to drop them off at the collection site.  And as we dropped them off, we met more wonderful OCC volunteers who graciously came to open the door, as I hadn't checked the hours of drop off. (oops!)

This evening our family will go to our church, along with other children and their families and help us bring all 350 boxes to the tree lighting ceremony. I am excited to see the joy in our Sunday School children's faces as they proudly bring their boxes away. 

And then we pray God's hand of protection over them as they travel from Manitoba to Alberta and then overseas. We pray that every box will hold at least one very special item for the child.  And that eternity will be changed forever!

Thank you to all the OCC volunteers who work tirelessly to make this all possible!

And all Glory and Honor Goes to God.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Looney Tunes 10-14 Boys Box

Michaels was clearing out Looney Tunes paper, stickers, pens, erasers, pencils at 80% off.  So this boy will get to enjoy it.  I also added a chess game, geometry set, pencil case.wash cloth, notebook, candy, soap, toothbrush, ball, sissor, car and shirt.

What are your favorite things to add to a 10-14 boys box?

Pack a Theme Box

Diego Theme Box

I picked up some Diego pencils on clearance. And then found a few other things, including a Diego book and some animals to add to my box.  I also included paper, a reusable bag, crayons, pencil case with pencils, pens, eraser, pencil sharpener, underwear, t-shirt, stuffed animal, toothbrush from the dentist, car, ball, animals, sandals, soap, wash cloth, and little frisbee.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Meet Zoe.

Zoe is 10 years old. And she is doing great things!! Her family has packed a box or two for about 10 years. Last year Zoe packed three and pestered her mom to pack more. That was when her mom started doing some research and found  links enabling her to pack more on a budget.

Here is what her mom writes...
She gets excited about everything little thing we find, it is hard to tell what her favorites are. We found some really cute Christmas necklaces last January at 7-Eleven for about 25cents and she was so excited. At back to school time, I could hardly get her out of the school supplies as she looked for stuff for boxes, not herself! She has been in at least 5 stores scoping out the best deal on pencil sharpeners and can hardly stand still long enough to tell me when she's found the 'best deal'! Even combs, I bought packs of 12 combs at Walmart and she had them all laid out on the floor so she could decide which was better for boys vs girls and younger vs older. (Less than 25cents each is a great deal. I will argue that packing lots of boxes is cheaper than packing only a couple!) Giving the smallest thing thrills her.
She had big rubbermaid containers in her bedroom closet with all the OCC shoe box stuff in them. And regularily through out the year I would find her sitting on her bedroom floor going through everything and organizing it. This is absolutely something she loves!

Here are a few pictures of the boxes that she has packed.

And this isn't her only generous gift! For her 9th birthday she asked for money instead of gifts to give to an orphanage in Cambodia. She raised $316 for them! :) She has already decided she is doing that again next year.

Great job Zoe!! We look forward to hearing from you in the future.

I know I love hearing from other fellow OCCers.  And I'd love to hear from you! 


I can finally say I am done and ready for collection week!
Tonight my 6 year old son and I added the final items to each box; candy, a note and a picture. It was great to open each box one last time, and pray for each child receiving the box. And since I had the boxes open I (finally) took a few pictures of some of the boxes, which I will share over the next few days.
I was thankful my son was helping me.  Thankful that we can do this together. I loved his prespective. I loved how with each box, my son said oh they are going to be so blessed with ________. The cute brown dog stuffed animal, or the red car.   Something different caught his eye in every box.  And it made me wonder what will be the item for the precious child receiving the box. 

Here is one of my favorite boxes.  I love how God placed strawberry shortcake items in my path through out the year.  And I ended up with this great box.  It's hard to see but the headbands has strawberries on it too!

Do you have a favorite box you packed this year?
Why not post pictures on our facebook page.  We'd love to see it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Packing Tip

Next week is Collection Week!
Time to Pack Your Boxes!

When packing shoes and water bottles, they can take up a lot of valuable space. Why not fill them with other items, enabling you to pack more in your boxes!

Monday, November 12, 2012


Through OCC I have met a lot of amazing, inspiring people!

I was recently introduced to Val.  She is doing amazing things in her 900 square foot home in Ottawa Ontario.  Here is her story...

I have been packing boxes for 14 years. I saw the video at my church and did 2 that year!! Having gone on a mission trip with OCC and saw the great need I feel God touched my heart to do more boxes!! I have filled over 12000 since I started I am 69 years old and work full time just to pay for the boxes. I shop for bargains all the time. After every occasion I check to see how much is left at 50 per cent off if they have a lot I wait till its 75 per cent off if not I will buy. I never pay full price.
I never pay full price. I always put school supplies in for the older children I always give soap, hard candy toys hair stuff coloring book crayons stuffed animal puppets hats sunglasses whistles puzzles t-shirt socks underwear cars dolls jewelry marbles beads toy animals play dough yoyo I like to give a good variety of things I want the!m to see their box and say wow somebody sure loves me!
 I have a senior friend(older than me) that knits and crochets the blankets (pictured above) for me I just give her the wool and she does the rest. What a blessing she is!!! I pack the boxes starting as soon as they leave in November. It is very time consuming as we pray for each box as we do I work on them every day. It gets a little crowded in my home at this time of year,as our home is only 900 sq ft. Our basement is quite full right now. 

They made this video a few years ago, called Emily's Hope.

Thank you Val for sharing your story, and more importantly spending your time, energy and resources spreading God's love!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What an amazing morning!! Despite freezing rain and a bit of snow this weekend, the huge storm they predicted didn't happen. The roads weren't great but most of our Sunday School Kids were able to make it out. We were aiming for 250 boxes and God multiplied and we packed 350 boxes! How Great is our God! A longer blog post will follow later this week, once I get pictures back from our photographer.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Add a note and picture

It is a great to include a personal note and picture. 
It is fun to write to the child, telling them a bit about you and your family, how special they are and how God loves them.  And don't forget to add a picture of yourself/family.

If you have kids you can download the About Me papers from here. And have them fill out the paper and there is a spot for a picture on the paper.

If you are packing a lot of boxes, or are just running out of time.
You can always combine the two.
Here is the card that we are adding to our boxes.

This one could be used for either gender.
And this one for the girls.
You can find the cards here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Favorite Stores

Do you have regular stores that you visit to buy your OCC items?
Here are a few of mine.

They always have great items for $1.50-$2.00 and if you hit the right time, you can find great clearance items up to 80% off.
I was there on Saturday and they had tons of items that would make great theme boxes, Hello Kity, Mickey Mouse, pencils, erasers, notebooks, crayons, etc.
You can also sign up for their email coupons.   They often have 50% off one item.

Dollar Stores
Great for pretty much all items you can think of putting into a box.
Hygiene, School Supplies, Toys, Stuffed Animals, etc.

Party Stores
Again great items if you're going to do theme boxes or just want to add something extra special
They often have packs of items, making them less expensive.

Box Stores- Superstore, Walmart
Great end of season clearance on clothing and toys.
School supplies in August. (often they are cheaper than the dollar store at this time of year)
And Candy after halloween.

Old Navy-
The odd time you can find clear out clothing for .97 cents. ( my mom is great at finding these.  You just need to take time to search)
And the .25 cent balls from the ball vending machine.  One of my favorite buys!

Do you have favorite stores that you like to check in on to pick up supplies?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thanks to Gina for posting this...
We found a great deal @ Ardene's. Surprise bags are 2 for $5. They contain hair accessories and jewelery, etc. Got tonnes of great stuff for girls in each one!

If you are looking for girls 10-14 sandals, they have 5 pairs for $10.00. They had a lot of selection!

Anyone have any other deals they've found?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Multiple Monday-Clothes Line and Bungee Cords

 I love giving variety in my boxes! I found rope at dollarama and with my dad's help we were able to divide it between 4 boxes. It was alot of rope for $1.00! We walked around the house, well the middle part, a few times:) And I bought a package of clothes pins. So I added 6-7 to each bag. So for $2.00 I could give 4 girls -clothes lines and pins. Or they could use the rope for other things.

And for boys boxes, I like to add bungee cords.  My son had this idea and they use them all the time.  So why not add it to a boys box.

What do you like to divide?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

2 Weeks until Collection Week!

2 weeks until Collection Week! One week until our Packing Party at church. The donation box was overflowing this morning. I am so thankful for everyone who has donated and helped bag soap and candy this morning. Plus our highschool Sunday School class moved all the boxes and supplies upstairs to our fellowship hall-this is a HUGE blessing! A little less to do on Saturday, when we set up for the party. We were praying for 250 boxes, and I am excited to see how many we will pack! God we do it for your Honour and Glory!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Favorites- Hygiene Items

Items we take for granted, are a blessing to those who receive a box.
These are items that get packed into every box I pack.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Must haves.

Do you have specific items that you add to every box your pack?

Here's a run down of my Must Haves.

Hygiene-Wash cloth, soap (in a ziploc bag) toothbrush.
* I try to add a comb to every box. But I make sure girls for sure have combs.

School Supplies-Pencils, eraser, pens, pencil sharpener, crayons/markers or pencil crayons and Paper or coloring book.
*older kids I add sissors.

Stuffed Animal.
Every child deserves to have something sweet and cuddly.

Toys- Ball
Boys- car and yo-yo or slinky or marbles

Girls- jewelry, hair accessories, skipping rope.

Clothing-I like to add one piece of clothing per box.
Footwear, underwear and shirts are some of my favorites.

And a ziploc bag of hard candy.

What are some of your Must Haves?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Label Positioning

I posted this last year.
But seeing as I have alot of new readers and my mom didn't catch it the first time;)
I thought it would be worth reposting.

When adding your labels please attach them to the middle of the box.
As they get taped approx 1/4 of the way on the long side of the box.
Photos courtesy of OCC Canada

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Favorites-clothing

Clothing is a great item to add to your box!
It is something we take for granted but can be an answer to prayer for the child receiving it.  Shop at the end of season for the best prices on clothing

Monday, October 22, 2012

Update and Do's and Don't's of Packing Boxes.

Less than a month until collection week!!! Who is excited?

Sorry for the lack of posts.  It's a busy time of  year! 

My boxes at home are all packed, expect for the candy, which I'll buy after halloween when it's on sale.
I'll hopefully post more pictures of some of my favorite boxes in the days to come
Our packing party at church is coming along good. I am learning to delegate.  Not something that comes naturally for me. But on  Sunday I had the high school students fold all our boxes, and cut and tape all the girl boy labels.  This was a huge blessing.  And something I am glad to stroke off my to do list.
I also have a wonderful support group of ladies who help with any little projects, bagging soap, cutting price tags off clothes etc. They are always up for anything.
I am now recruiting volunteers to help with the packing party.  Baking goodies, working our "store" where the kids buy items from to fill their boxes, and having extra helpers for the younger grades.  Oh and I have asked a photographer.  Another important position to fill.

I want to leave you with this post written on Muthering Heights and it is a great fun article on the do's and don't's of what to pack.

Happy Shopping and Packing!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

$1.00 Summer Clearance on At Wal-mart.

Clothing was another thing that I had been praying for, for our packing party. And today God provided! $1.00 Summer Clearance at Wal-mart, shirts, shorts for boys and hats!  God is good.

Packing Party- Tips and Lessons Learned.

Plan a Packing Party!
I was so excited a beautiful young lady in church mentioned she was heading up a packing party at her school.  And she wanted more information:) Which reminded me I had never posted this yet.

I am heading up our Packing Party at our church again.  We are planning on packing 250+ boxes.

Here are a few things I have learned from previous experience.  And ideas to help it run smooth.

1. Pick a date, time and location.
This year I sent home invitations to the party! I saw this on pinterest and thought it was a fun idea that would cause some excitement.

There are lots of great Operation Christmas Child Videos out th

2.Decide if you will have people bring money to buy a box, items, or everyone brings a specific item and specific amount of that item.

For our Packing Party at church we have a donation box, that we have out most of the year.  And we also accept monetary donations.  This year we have received more monetary donations, opposed to actual items.  So I have done more shopping this year.

3. Boxes are needed to make this party happen.  Decide if you will use boxes from OCC or shoe boxes.  This year, a wonderful lady who works at Walmart, has been collecting for us. We will have about 1/2 regular shoe boxes and 1/2 OCC boxes.  We wanted larger boxes as we are adding a pair of shoes to every box.

4. Labels. Again make sure that you have enough labels for each box.
A lesson learned from last year.  We are cutting out all our labels ahead of time.  With so many little preschoolers, this was time consuming and added stress.  This year having them all cut ahead of time and tapping them onto the boxes should make things run smoother.

Also make sure you place the label in the middle of the box as pictured.
This is very important because after the box has gone through the processing center it gets taped shut as pictured.  So it is important the label is in the correct position so they can tell what age and gender when handing out the boxes.

5. Shop. Shop. Shop.  I find regularly shopping helps to find deals.  You never know when a store is going to mark down an item.

Shop in the Party Section of your chain store or dollar store. You can often buy multiple items for $1.00 or $2.00.  ( See my Multiple Mondays for more Multiple ideas)

Shop at a Party Store. You can find Multiple packs of erasers, balls, skipping ropes and other neat little things.  I love these items I found at Party City!  These came individual or in multi packs.  But the individual ones were on sale.  I think for .19 cents each. 

Shop at the Dollar Store.  There are so many great things that you can find there!!

*Have a good variety of items. 
Hygiene -toothbrush, soap (in a ziploc bag) wash cloth, comb, nail clipper, file.
School Supplies- pencils, pencil sharpener, pens, crayons/pencil crayons/markers/gel pens, scissors, ruler and don't forget the paper!
Often children can not go to school because they do not have school supplies. School supplies are a huge answer to prayer for these children.
Toys- balls, marbles, cars, yo-yos, etch a sketch, music makers, dolls, stickers, beads, hair accessories, jewelry.
Clothing- underwear, shirt, footwear. Shoes can mean the difference between a child attending school and not being able to attend school.
Something to Love- Add a stuffed animal, to all ages of boxes!
Hard Candy- Candy is a huge treat for kids.  Stock up after halloween.  Remember it needs to be hard, so that it won't melt and ruin the items in the box.
Note and Picture-Download and print the About Me paper, if you have younger kids.  It's a fun way to get your kids involved.  Or write a note.  Be sure to add a picture of yourself/family.  Children loving seeing who sent them their box.
We sent our About Me papers for the kids to fill out with their parents ahead of time.  We found there wasn't enough time to do it during the party.  So we're hoping this helps.

*Remember each child will only receive one shoe box in their life time so please pack good quality items.

6.It is a Party. Have fun!
Decorate. Did you know that you can get a Packing Party Kit from OCC? It includes balloons, pens and other cool stuff.
Have Christmas Music to set the tone.
Ask a few people to bring Snacks.
Don't forget to buy ziploc bags for candy and soap.

You will also need sissors to cut the labels and tape to tape the labels on to the top of the box.

The day of the Party,Start the Party with a prayer.

And then let the fun of packing begin!

Don't forget to take pictures through out the event!! We'd love it if you posted them on my facebook or the OCC Canada page!
End with a prayer and drop off your boxes during collection week November 19-25th

To find a collection center click here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Multiple Monday

This is one of my favorite pictures.  Love his smile!
And I love packing these glasses.  You can find them in Walmart in the Party section.
6 for $1.00.  Great value, and worth every smile!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wal-mart Finds

I found a few of these 9 packs of Hot Wheels cars at Walmart yesterday.  Normally they are advertised during their Anniversary Sale.  But I couldn't find them this year.  Yesterday I found some tucked away on a bottom shelf.  9 cars for $7.00!  
I have also been waiting for the rest of the summer clearance to get marked down lower.  And yesterday I found these Double Dutch skipping ropes for .50 cents!  These perfect as we have some larger boxes we are wanting to fill.  What girl doesn't love to skip?

Friday Favorite- Skipping Rope

Add a skipping rope to your boxes!  They provide hours of fun:)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Princess Themed Box

Every girl deserves to feel like a princess!  They are a child of The King!
Here are a few items I have added to a few of my Princess Themed boxes.
It's hard to see but the first item on the left is a princess shirt, found it on sale at Giant Tiger, Crown, Princess paper dolls, Princess bag, Princess rings (set of 7 for $1.24 at Dollarama) Princess Pencil Case- well it's actually a package that underwear came in, but works great as a pencil case! Princess necklace.  Found after Christmas on clearance.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hello Kitty Theme Box.

I love it when boxes end up having a theme.  This one came together so nicely.
Wash cloth, pencil case with Hello Kitty pencils pens, pencil crayons, pencil sharpener and eraser, comb, toothbrush, nail files, the round circle with the bear, is a brush that pops open with a mirror.  Ball from Old Navy,  Hello Kitty bracelet, hello Kitty Paint with water (from Michaels) Hello Kitty Valentines I bought at 90% off. Hello Kitty toy, a friend gave to me from a Happy Meal Toy, Hello Kitty Flip Flops, underwear and soap.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Multiple Monday- Balloons.

Love buying a bag of balloons and dividing them between a few boxes. 
What child doesn't love balloons?