There's always the basics of shoebox economics--how to prayerfully pack the best boxes possible while packing as many as possible all for the purpose of blessing as many children as possible.
This is what sends shoebox packers on year-round treasure hunts to find bargains. I spoke this week at a local Kiwanis Club meeting. When I was finished one of the members who had attended our packing party said, "I have a question. How do you get the volume of items you need for all those boxes?" I quickly replied with the truth, "Every one of them is an answer to prayer."
And they come in so many different ways--for our packing parties, our personal boxes, and for those of each shoebox packer around the world.
The past several weeks have been filled with those answers to prayer. First there was the load of baseball hats and visors. Then we received the delivery of our pens for next year. As our packing party has grown larger we depend more on getting those large quantities of items.
But it's also fun to get great deals that allow us to choose individual items, and that's what's been happening this week. First, JC Penney repeated their coupon deal last Friday and Saturday. We didn't get a $100 coupon this time, but we did have fun choosing items for the $10 coupons we were gifted. Combining strategy with Pam, my faithful shopping buddy, allowed us to find six high quality items for a total of 35 cents. Now that's just plain fun!
Then on Tuesday the Dollar General stores started a sale of their "white dot" and "yellow dot" summer clothing and shoes for only 25 cents each! Between us, Pam and I have been to 14 local Dollar General stores in the past two days and scored close to 350 clothing items and shoes.
Many of the items have already been scooped up, but if you have a Dollar General near you it's worth taking a look. Look for the white or yellow dots on the tag... (also, the $1.00 regular flip-flops are excluded from the sale)
Now I'm trying to figure out how and where to store all this stuff for 2017 even as I continue to pack boxes for 2016. I'm up to 624 boxes packed at home since the packing party and I still have so much left that I could pack. Just ordered another 3 cartons of "GO" boxes so I can keep going. I'm trying to figure out new places to store the stacks of finished boxes while working around the cartons full of items to be packed. Isn't that a great problem?
And some of those nice athletic shoes are pretty big. They'll fill up a GO box so I need to find something maybe just a teeny bit bigger (need some grace there)...but I just couldn't pass up nice shoes for 25 cents. I'm praying God will direct them to the right person who can wear a size 11... I mean, kids' feet keep getting bigger, right?
I'm probably spending too much time buying and storing and packing instead of calling and training and leading...
But, in general, I... just. can't. stop. packing.