This morning when I woke up I planned to pack 9 more Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to finish my packing for the year. I thought I was done a week ago, but God provided a sale that gave me another 400 or so items and I went back into packing mode.
I've always been a fan of nice round numbers in my OCC world, and packing 9 more boxes this morning would put the combined total of packing party boxes and home-packed boxes at an even 28,850 for the year.
But after I got those 9 boxes on the table and started filling them with nice shoes I found a half dozen baseball hats I wanted to pack. I assembled 6 more boxes. The total 28,856 isn't as clean, but blessing another 6 children is worth it I figured.
After I finished those 15 boxes I decided to tally the items I still had left--33 tennis balls; 24 jump ropes; 50 plastic cups; lots of shoes and plenty of the basic items. I folded up 12 boxes and started packing again.
When that round was done I realized packing 12 more would give me 28,880--a great number indeed--so I set up another 12 boxes. One of them had to be a box for a 10-14 year old girl to use up some girl items, and I decided the others would be for 10-14 year old boys.
I went to get shoes from the piles of recent purchases and found there were exactly 11 pairs left for 10-14 year old boys so I cleaned up that category.
After quickly finishing those boxes we loaded our minivan and my husband's truck with the 487 boxes and headed out to our central drop-off site.
We were excited to have 29 members of the Gannon University soccer team there to cartonize the boxes and greet two trucks from drop-off sites and load their 6,000+ boxes into two of the trucks. They polished it all off in less than an hour!
Back home this afternoon I started to clean up my packing supplies and took another little inventory. well...I still had 9 tennis balls and all these cute tennis shoes for 5-9 year olds that take up some significant box space. If I made a quick trip to the store for some toy cars I could make another 8 nice boxes...and that number 28,888 was really tempting...
So...I went to the store...and...I finished them. I FINISHED. I think...
In other news, Jim and I had a date night last night and headed to Warren and Corry to visit our drop-off sites there and enjoy some time at the packing party at Corry.
Under Becky Foster's leadership this packing party has grown every year. And the boxes were absolutely STUFFED this year with great fillers that will bless the children who receive them.
Just check out these beautiful handmade dolls. They had 300 of them made by a local sewing group.
When my box packing was finished this afternoon I settled in to watch "Facing The Giants" for a little pick-me-up. It's crazy when I think that 48 hours from now we'll know the total box number for our area team. We've prayed for months for 54,321 and I have no idea whether we'll be anywhere close to that number or not.
As soon as I hear of a church whose box numbers are up this year I hear of another whose are down. We'll find out soon, though. And, taking a line from "Facing The Giants"--we'll praise God if we win and we'll praise Him if we lose...
Because we're almost finished...