Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cups for the New Year

After Christmas is one of the biggest buying times for items to put into Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. I prayerfully waited for the dirt-cheap prices and on Thursday, December 30th, I went into Target and found the dollar-spot items and the Christmas items were discounted 75%. I'd been praying that the wooden cars I'd had my eye on would still be there when the deep discounts came and God answered those prayers with 350 nice cars for only 25 cents each.

I went back to Target on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday also and they seemed to put out new items each day. Within a few days I'd also accumulated 150 small Slinky Jrs., 163 jump ropes, 78 yo-yos, 100 balls and at least another hundred miscellaneous other filler items--all for a quarter each.

On Friday afternoon--New Year's Eve--I got an e-mail from a friend telling me that Christmas items were marked 75% off at Walmart. I begged my patient husband to stop at one of the stores on the way to our family dinner and we picked up 189 6-packs of hard plastic cups with stripes or snowflakes that were only 25 cents. They make great filler items and the price of 4 cents per cup was awesome, too.

That night I couldn't sleep as I made plans to attack (er, visit) other Walmarts in the morning. I left at 6:30 am on New Year's Day and drove about 25 miles through hard rain to Edinboro Walmart. I found tons of cups there and stacked a cart full. I'm not very brave about asking for discounts but God gave me the courage to go to the service desk and ask if I could get a reduced price if I bought all the cups they had. The store clerk was nice enough to call a manager who agreed to sell the 6-packs of cups for just 15 cents. I bought almost 2400 cups there.

Then I traveled to another Walmart that also had tons of cups and asked a manager there if he'd matach the deal. He agreed and I netted a few thousand more there. It took three trips through the pouring rain to get them all to my car, which by now was pretty well stuffed with plastic cups.

On Sunday morning we had to unload 7,620 cups from our minivan into the storage container at church. God provided a few volunteers to help but I wish I would have had a video of the scene when we opened the back hatch of the car and cups started cascading out and rolling down the driveway. We grabbed boxes and bins--anything we could find to capture that cupfall. We still need to get them organized into boxes but at least they're out of the car and contained.

Now I'm praying for Target to mark their Christmas items to 90% off so I can buy candy canes. I need about 30,000--but that's another story.

In the meantime, I think of how Jesus said we are blessed just by giving a cup of cold water in His name.

I hope giving a cup in His name brings a blessing too.


  1. You're amazing, Kathy! I am so glad God answered your prayers and provided the items you wanted/needed for your shoeboxes! :)

  2. Kathy, I was just at Walmart and got 107 packs of those same cups for 10 cents a pack. I thought I did good but you did GREAT. Keep on keeping on for Jesus. Jane

  3. Jane, you did better than I did--I paid 15 cents and you got them for 10 cents! WhooHooo! Isn't it neat to see how God provides for all of us? Now on to the candy canes!