Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thirty One

Last evening I attended a Thirty One party.  If you're not familiar with the company (I wasn't) they sell various purses, totes, and organizational items.  The products are nice, to be sure, but I didn't buy anything.  I tend to carry my stuff in plastic bags or totes purchased from rummage sales.

I started wondering what it would be like if we could present Operation Christmas Child in this type of party format.  We could have people invite groups into their homes and we'd give them a presentation about the ministry of Operation Christmas Child and maybe do a mini packing party.  Instead of buying something, each person could contribute $35 to help us ship 5 shoeboxes to needy children.  Of course, there wouldn't be any hostess gifts--except some sort of eternal reward.

I can waste money with the best of them at times, but Operation Christmas Child has decidedly changed my view of how I spend money.  Right now, for example, I'm considering making an online purchase of thousands of pencils and they'll cost about 4 cents each.  In years past I tried to hold out for a maximum price of 2 cents for each pencil but now that I need so many more I'm not sure I can get enough at the lower prices.

So as I looked at that catalog last night I realized that I could spend $35 to buy a pretty tote bag to haul my stuff or I could use that money to buy 875 pencils to put into Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

This week I heard from some of my Operation Christmas Child friends who recently went to Uganda to distribute shoeboxes that the primary reason for absence from school in that country is the lack of a pencil.

How to spend my money?  It's a no brainer.


  1. Kathy,

    I read your post a few days ago and agree with where you are coming from. Working with OCC year around has diffidently helped to keep me kingdom focused rather than me focused. Having said that I have been contemplating the idea of OCC purchase party and here is what came to mind. I took some inspiration from Samaritan Pursue “Christmas Catalog” and I think an OCC “bulk purchase” catalog could be put together for just such a party. Since we know the general cost (or at least the price I aim for) for the various items you could break them down in the “a box of” “a case of” or even “a dozen of” and “a unit of” toothpaste, toothbrushes, washcloths, soap, school supplies. They party goers could “purchase” (select and donate based on their preference, or select “to the most needed area” like the Samaritan Pursue catalog provides. And then the “shipping” could be calculated at a percentage of the total “purchase” and go towards the shipping cost of the boxes. You could even have an area for things like sewing kit supplies (.33 times the number they would like to donate, like the ducks are in the Samaritan Pursue catalog) or fishing kits, things like that. That way there would be a price point for everyone, those who can only give a little and those who want to give you a year’s supply of something.

    Anyway, just wanted to share this little brain storm with you and let you know I may share your post plus this idea with my local OCC coordinator. I do think it would be an interesting approach to use as the number of boxes we are packing each year continues to rise.

    1. Thanks, Christy--I threw that idea out kind of tongue in cheek and I don't think I personally have the energy to pursue it but it would be fun, don't you think? Maybe God will lead me in that direction in retirement.

  2. I found your blog because I follow OCC on pinterest and you are pinned as one of their favorite blogs. I am loving reading all of your posts! I want to be more involved with OCC but I don't think there is a "regional" very near to me. I do pack boxes, this year my goal is for each gender, each age category.
    I've done a few blog posts on it...Still trying to accumulate things throughout the year for each box. :)