Saturday, November 22, 2014

Let The Training Begin

Today I started training for my short-lived dream job--working at the Operation Christmas Child processing center near Baltimore.

I am totally overwhelmed by the amazing job the staff has done over the past few weeks in transforming a bare warehouse into a warm and inviting collection center (well, it's not literally warm--the place is downright chilly and I never took my coat off all day.)

It's interesting how perspective changes when you're looking at things from a new angle.  A few days ago I was advising relay center volunteers who were lamenting about over-filled boxes to "rubber band them tightly and send them on to the processing center."

Now I'm at the processing center where the final decision has to be made about those over-filled boxes.  Our supervisor reminded us again about maintaining the integrity of the box and said that if the box absolutely will not close it will need to be sent to the Shoe Box Hospital area where the items will be transferred to a larger box.  It would be so much easier if every box arrived at a relay or collection center being filled "just right" but, of course, we don't live in a perfect shoe box world.

Even though I got the chance to practice processing boxes, my actual job this year is to help manage the Gifts-In Kind--donated items used as fillers if inappropriate items need to be removed from boxes.

As I looked at these rows of cartons donated by companies, trying to memorize which stacks of boxes contained which items, it was like looking at my storage container times four.  These have to last until all the boxes are processed, so I will be praying for wisdom in how to manage the stock.

As cartons of donated filled items arrive from relay and collection centers I will need to make sure they are inspected and, in some cases, itemized for receipt purposes.

Another one of my duties is to supervise volunteers who will be serving to prepare fillers (bagging the soap, opening packages, etc.)

It's like taking shoe box packing to another level entirely.  Let the training begin.

1 comment:

  1. Please share all you learn. I had some FULL boxes and some OVERFULL that we rubber banded. Generally they were too tight because of stuffies (but we'll zip bag, squish air out and rubberband them next year). Please also find out what gets pulled (beyond the list on the web, I hear so many things with conflicting answers). We buy for hundreds of boxes and we don't want to spend on items that are pulled. Thank you!