Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Whassup? Cups!

So, my dear blog readers, are you getting tired of pictures of cardboard boxes yet?  I think I was destined to spend a life involved with cardboard.  I started working at age 14 at Juvenile Bootery-- the children's shoe store where my mother worked--and continued in that job through summers in college.  I started handling large quantities of shoeboxes decades before Operation Christmas Child was ever conceived.

In the past ten years I've progressed to handling large cartons of shoebox items.  I've become a connoisseur of cardboard.  There's nothing like a good, sturdy box.  Unfortunately, today's boxes were not so good and sturdy.

I'm not complaining, though, because today's truck delivery was filled with blessings--21,600 nice plastic cups--brightly colored and 17 oz. each.

You know how I've been praying this year that God would allow our boxes to be better quality and be sure to bless each child who receives one.  I've been trying to accumulate more filler items, so I was ecstatic last week when I was able to find good cups at a low price.

When I heard they were being shipped via truck on pallets, I was worried they'd arrive in large pallet boxes and we'd need to find individual boxes for them.  Also, I wanted to be sure they arrived before I had to leave for the OCC Connect Conference in three weeks.  God answered both those prayers--they came today--in cartons and in an unprecedented nine days' time.

The weather today was sunny--cool but calm.  A perfect day for two 60-something women to unload 1,706 pounds of cups.  The delivery was scheduled between 10am and noon.  This was tricky because my faithful HELPer, Pam,  had an appointment at 10 am and I was supposed to be at my volunteer job at noon--12:30 at the latest .

By God's grace the driver called at 11:30 and was there pretty promptly.  Shawn, the driver, got the pallets dropped next to the container then discovered he couldn't get the truck out of the driveway until we unloaded and moved the pallets.  He told us to take our time while he waited in the truck and watched Pam and I wrestle those 31 cartons (probably 40+ pounds each) into the container.  We had to keep stopping to repair boxes when the bottom seams would start to let loose as we lifted them.

Eventually I think he got tired of waiting and came to help us get the last pallet of boxes stacked up to the four-high level in the container.  Whew!  The truck was on its way by 12:10 giving me just enough time to make it to downtown Erie by 12:30.

The ever-positive Pam said she'd been telling God how she hadn't been disciplining herself to exercise and He'd just helped her out with that.  So true.  I'm thinking I should keep knee braces in the storage container for the next delivery.

Still, a few weeks ago I never would have dreamed we'd have thousands of nice cups filling up our storage container.  God is always up to something.  And it's always good.

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