When our major packing party ended on September 24th and I realized how many items we had left over, my first thought was to do enough additional boxes to fill the remaining 14 cartons we had--maybe another 300 boxes or so.
Later, though, I found that the wonderful folks at Operation Christmas Child headquarters would send me more boxes and more cartons so I decided 1,000 would be a do-able goal with the amount of items we had (not that I stopped to actually count every item of clothing mind you).
When I talked with Amanda from Boone I said at one point, "Maybe I should order 1,200 boxes just to be sure" but then I ended up just ordering 1,000. I also ordered 50 cartons to ship the 1,000 boxes and the bagged candy that we couldn't use.
I sensed that we had a problem on Wednesday night when the candy filled 28 cartons. I was pretty sure we'd run out of cartons at the packing party and I worried we'd run out of boxes also.
So this morning at 7:15 I drove to my old church and got all the plain shoeboxes I could find. Then at school I managed to get 12 large empty cartons from the cafeteria. I hoped we'd be set to pack around 1,075 boxes.
When I arrived at church tonight for the packing party, Debbie Rimmer from our team, her pastor husband, and her son Gideon were already packing boxes. The rest of the volunteers arrived at 5:30 and we watched the Operation Christmas Child video together and then set to work.
Wow--did things ever start moving fast! Within a little over an hour all the 1,000 white boxes were filled but the supplies to pack boxes were still mounding the tables.
So we broke out the plain shoe boxes and kept packing but they were soon filled, too. The only thing to do was to start packing the pre-printed OCC GO boxes. I knew they couldn't go on the truck with the other boxes for special access countries, but with all these items and all these willing volunteers it seemed like we HAD to keep packing.
So we folded GO boxes and filled them and stacked them in the back of our storage container for National Collection Week.
At the end of the night we'd packed 1,069 'special' boxes and 294 GO boxes for a grand total of
When you add that in with the total from our September 24th packing party that makes 17,508 boxes so far.
And we're going to pack more this coming Wednesday at our "2nd Annual Praying Patriotic Pig Packing Party" (with all the things we couldn't put into our special boxes.
My only regret is that I didn't order more boxes and cartons so the truck could be fuller when we send it on Monday. There we are with a half-empty truck and a container full of boxes.
Well, God has a plan for that, too. Maybe He's trying to teach me to have a bigger vision. Hmm, I wonder how many boxes I should order next year??