Thursday, December 28, 2017

Peaceful Processing Procrastination

Well...the procrastination part is the fact that I waited so long to get this blog entry posted. time somehow rolled on.

We were blessed to be able to volunteer at the Baltimore Processing Center from December 4th - 9th this year. We've been there two seasons as full-time employees but I have to say volunteering is a lot more fun.  It's great to be able to try different areas and have the luxury of talking to so many interesting people.

We arrived on December 4th and went over to the PC just to drop off the 61straggler boxes we'd brought from our area, but...they had spaces available and so we just had to stay for five hours--lol.

On Tuesday morning we were blessed to work with Kati Sturgis and her friend who'd traveled from our area to volunteer for the first time.  One of the boxes Kati inspected that day had a digital camera in it!  We're praying it goes to just the right child...

We took a break in the afternoon and went back to rest at our hotel before returning from 6-10 that evening. By the time Tuesday night came my feet and legs hurt so much from standing I was worried I wouldn't be able to make it through the week.  Thankfully, my prayers and Ibuprofen helped me turn the corner on Wednesday--or maybe I just got numb?

We came across some really interesting boxes--some had unusual shapes and some had unusual items like this set of some sort of blocks in a plastic bag that only filled half of the large cardboard box they were packed in.  We found a bunch of fun items to fill it up.

Someone even sent this giant dump truck and taped an open GO box over it. Showing their dedication to "the integrity of the box" the staff found a box to fit it and tucked a few other items in with it.  Only God knows the story behind that one!

Several boxes came through that were so pretty--decorated with pictures covered with decoupage on the lid and the rest of the box covered with decorative duct tape.

My favorite part of our week at the PC, though, was meeting some new friends.
Mary and Sharon work as church relations volunteers in my region. I hope I get to see them again at the Connect Conference.  While we inspected boxes we chatted about the struggle to get churches involved and to keep them involved in packing boxes.  

We also enjoyed working on two days with this family who flew in from Michigan to volunteer. Their youngest daughter had a real knack for carbonizing boxes and my husband loved mentoring her in that process.

Stephanie is a fairly new area coordinator from Brooklyn.  My daughter lives in Brooklyn so we chatted about that area and the highs and lows of Operation Christmas Child promotion there.

On our last two days there we were blessed to inspect some boxes packed from our area. It was fun to be able to send them pictures and tell them their boxes were going to Colombia and/or Kenya.

On our last day I was able to spend some time in the "Inappropriate" area.  All items that must be removed from boxes as inappropriate are donated to local charities.  We sure gave them a LOT of toothpaste and candy this year--lol.

As we left the PC on Saturday night Jim said, "It's really hard to leave."  My thoughts exactly.  Thankfully, Connie, our Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager who worked as the 2nd shift PC Manager posted a picture of the tote board at the end of the processing season so we could see the countries where all those precious boxes were shipped.

We praise God for all the staff and volunteers who got the job done and continue to pray for the children who will be receiving these boxes in months to come.

Peace to all! 

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