Archives for November 2013

How-to “Take Them a Meal”

Do any of you have friends having babies? Coworkers losing loved ones? Family sick or loosing their jobs? Sometimes the holidays can just be hard. We all know providing a necessity, like a yummy meal, during times like these can be the best ways to help and comfort. We also know that lots of well meaning people can be overwhelming and disorganized when trying to all help and comfort the same people.

How-to Use Take Them A Meal

Today, I'm sharing one of my FAVORITE online FREE find on the Homemakers Challenge! Sneak on over and hear how to use "Take Them a Meal", a free online organization tool that's so easy to use for facilitating such a ministry.

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Operation Christmas Child, Duck Dynasty, and a GIVEAWAY!!!

Last week was Operation Christmas Child week here on the blog.

occ-logo-medMonday What is Operation Christmas Child?
Tuesday Operation Christmas Child FAQ Answered
Wednesday How-to Pack a OCC Shoes Box
Thursday How-to Pack a OCC Shoes Box
Friday Operation Christmas Child Packing Party!

Today, the beloved Si wants to share his passion for OCC with you::

For the GIVEAWAY, we will be joining oh Amanda's monthly mission.

ohAmandaHere are the options for GIVEAWAY entries:

  1. Show your kids, friends, and/or family at least one of the awesome videos of Si from above, Veggie Tales, or one about Alex- for the older audience. {comments about who you shared which video with for your 1st entry}
  2. Pack a box with your kids. Take pictures and post them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, your blog, etc. Use the hashtag #OCC and #asJulesgoes {come back here and comment with a link to what you shared for a 2nd entry}
  3. Pray with your kids, friends, and/or family for the child that will receive your box. Ask God to lead you to the gifts that will minister to that child. Don't forget to DROP IT OFF. {come back here and share about your drop off location for a 3rd entry}
  4. Host a Packing Party {come back here and share stories you partied for a 4th entry}
  5. Come back here by November 27 and report back with how many boxes you collected. {come back here and share stories of who you may have encouraged to pack boxes with year for a 5th entry}

Everyone that packs a box and leaves a comment sharing about it will be entered to WIN---->

1 copy of Operation Christmas Child: The Story of Simple Gifts by Franklin Graham!!! To learn more about the book, Amanda shares here.

To order ohAmanda's awesome eBook, use the affiliate link by clicking the image below. LOVE THIS BOOK. We went through it last year as part of our Advent and will likely do it again 😀truthinthetinsel-leaderboard

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MORE of Alex’s Story {Operation Christmas Child}

Tonight I want to share an amazing story I was honored to hear pieces of at Allume a few weeks ago.

Alex's Story!

Love Your Neighbor: Gift of Forgiveness in Rwanda

Sharing God with a Gift

The Peace of Letting Go: How one Rwandan Forgave

I hope you've enjoyed hearing about how your simple gifts in a tiny shoe box are impacting the world for Christ!!!

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Operation Christmas Child Packing Party!

After telling how Operation Christmas Child started, who and where the boxes go, 50+ gifts ideas for the boxes, and how to pack the box, today I want to tell you one more way to make this gift giving that much more fun!

Hosting a Packing Party for Operation Christmas Child


Don't get me wrong, packing a box or boxes with your immediate family and littles is tons of fun and offers a great teachable moments but who doesn't like a party. There are lots of different ways you could do it so these are just thoughts I've come up with.


The Church at The Valley has been collecting items for OCC boxes. We split it up into 5 weeks:

  • 10/20 – Hygiene (soap, tooth paste, tooth-brush, combs, hair brushes, etc.) No Lotions, or liquids
  • 10/27 – School Supplies (pens, crayons, markers, color books, paper, etc.)
  • 11/3 – Small Toys (dolls, balls, slinky, flashlight, etc.)
  • 11/10 – Accessories (glasses, necklaces, bracelets, hats, etc.)
  • 11/17 – Batteries (AA), Plastic boxes (shoebox size with a lid)

This just helps people focus on different categories each week and keep it at the front of their minds. After these 5 weeks, we will be hosting a packing party in our building {right before National Collection week (Nov. 18-25) ends}.

During the party,we will have

  1. christmas music playing to get everyone in the Christmasy spirit
  2. snackage, because its not a party without food {likely Christmasy}
  3. plastic baggies available
  4. rubber-bands for closing boxes
  5. plastic {lidded} boxes {this allows the recipient to re-purpose the box as a gift as well}
  6. signs labeling box item categories
  7. a long table or multiple tables with the different categories sorted
  8. printed labels with boy/girl and the ages on them

Individuals will choose a label they would like to fill a box for {boy or girl and then what age group}. Then they will travel through along the table(s) with their empty boxes collecting items. Having the items sorted with ensure that every child's box gets at least one thing from each category but of course there will likely be more than one {especially TOYS}. 😉 After they've collected items, they will find a spot to sit with their box and play a little OCC tetras. Trying to cram as much goodness into one box is the goal. When their box is as full as possible they will write a short note to their child and take a picture with their box to include inside the box. They will NOT tape the box shut but rather rubber-band the boxes closed so those at the warehouses can go through them making sure everything is packed appropriately and each item is acceptable.

When everyone has completed all the boxes provided, we will pray over the boxes. {Those at the warehouse will also be praying over every box as well. So cool!} We will plan a time where someone in the valley will take all of our boxes to the local collection site.

Deliver OCC boxes

NOTE: all items {other than soap and such} will be removed all items from packaging.WHY?

  • provides more space in the box
  • most places these boxes are going do not have trash disposal systems in place which would leave them with lots of garbage
  • you can split up items: bags of hard candy {but will need to bag them}, packs of multiple items {bouncy balls for all}, etc


I've known someone who have attempted to have a party with friends where they just brought their items and sat to pack them together. She put tons of work into it and no one came. She found out that they weren't coming because they hadn't had the time to collect items on their own {or forgot}. The next year, she decided to ask for $20 donations, she found and bought all the items over a period of time using that money, and then hosted a packing party with those who donated so they could all stuff boxes with the items she had found. THAT worked Much better!

Keep in mind, the OCC organization request that you include $7 for the shipping fees of each box.

Here is a Packing Party evite you can print so you don't have to make your own.

Here you can find more tips, free materials , silly ice breaks, as well as additional resources that are available for your packing party .


You can also go online to Follow You Shoe Box. SO FUN! We did this last year and found out where our box traveled. {note: this does require making your shipping donation online}This gave my children an opportunity to learn about a new country while having a personal attachment to the people who  live there!

If you have other fun ideas, Please share in the comment section.

Here is the Journey of a Shoe Box via Samaritan's Purse. If you feel like you won't have time this year to host a party or even physically pack a box, I encourage you to Build a Box Online!!! Keep in mind, online boxes are going to the hardest to reach countries, so this is an incredible opportunity. There are also volunteer opportunities. Although all of them seemed to be filled this year, consider planning ahead for next year.

Have fun!!!

saving the world one shoebox at a time

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How-to Pack a OCC Shoes Box

Now that you know the history of Operation Christmas Child; have answers to some frequently ask questions; and have some fun inexpensive gift ideas for your shoe box, lets talk about HOW to pack a shoes box with a little help from our favorite Veggies.

Those were the basics, tomorrow I'm going to add a video of my kids, who wanna share how they get all the goodies into your shoe box so its ready to touch a life across the world.
How to pack an Operation Christmas Child Box
Samaritan's Purse also has tons of other resources available to you and your family. Check'm out!

Click any image for the printable versions:
#itsaboutgiving duet 15 10coloring_pageocc_coloring_page


Learn more about the new Veggie Tales Christmas movie coming out via this trailer and print a coupon for it HERE:

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