Operation Christmas Child

August 2014

We are taking donations for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes! We missed out on this wonderful project last year, but it’s back & we’re setting the bar high for 2014- 100 boxes!! When you’re out shopping, please consider picking up items for the shoeboxes. Item suggestions include way cloths, socks, non liquid toiletries (small tooth paste/ brushes, bar of soap, etc.), school supplies, small toys/games, etc. Remember it must all fit inside a standard shoebox. A link to the OCC website is posted on our Facebook page with more gift sugges-tions & additional info. Donations can be placed in designated area in the lounge. Please contact Megan G if you have any questions!

 

Operation-Christmas-Child1The OCC project for 2013 will officially kick off at a later date, however, please start shopping for items as you see them, especially at some of the great after-Christmas sales. OCC bookmarks, with a list of needed items are available at the Connection Point. We will store your items for you (give to Carol, Sarah, or Marilyn), or store at home and bring them in later. Thanks, again, for your great support of OCC 2012!

On Sept 30, the congregation helped fill 89 OCC boxes after the morning worship service. Our goal was 75 boxes so we surpassed the goal by 14 boxes. On October 9, the committee looked over the boxes to verify the contents and determine any missing items. About 20 of the boxes are incomplete with various items. Those items were tallied and we made a list of “Still Need” items. We posted cards on the OCC poster on Oct. 14, so the congregation could take a card and purchase the items on the card. Those items are due by Oct. 28. After Oct 28, the OCC committee will determine if any additional items need to be purchased and use some of the money in the OCC fund to make those purchases. We are encouraging members of the congregation to fill boxes on their own to increase the number of boxes that are filled.

On Nov 4, Karen Gustafson offered to have her Sunday School class help finish filling the boxes with the additional items to make all the boxes complete.

On Nov 10, the filled boxes will be placed at the front of the sanctuary and Pastor Heidi will conduct a “Blessing of the Boxes” during the worship service. The boxes will be taken to the local pickup church, Southwest Topeka Bible Church, during the week of Nov 11-14.

After Nov 14, the OCC committee of Marilyn Asklund, Sara Anderson, and Carol Walker will evaluate the project and report to the Mission’s Committee during the December meeting.

We will plan to do a video presentation during the church service on Sept 9.  Sara Anderson will also present an update to the congregation and explain needs and ways the congregation may continue to help with the project.  We are no longer planning a skit type presentation.

We continue to keep the congregation updated with the progress of OCC.  On Aug 19, we had a bulletin insert of another bookmark with updated needs in each category.  We also provided, for pick up, a short spreadsheet of actual numbers of items.

The Progress Poster is now in use as a means for tracking, at a glance, the status of items as related to reaching the goal in each category.  Hopefully this will be helpful for the congregation to track the items that are still needed for the shoeboxes.

A regional Operation Christmas Child meeting is usually held in the fall.  This meeting will give specific information on collecting the boxes for the November collection, as well as answering questions.  Our group will plan to attend this meeting.

At this time, our collection is about ½ way to our goal of 75 boxes.  We have about 12 more weeks until the regional collection of boxes.  We will begin to encourage families to fill boxes on their own, as a family project to do with children and grandchildren.  We will also begin to specify certain items as the “Item of the week” or “Items of the month” to focus on specific needs.  We have had some success with members of the congregation giving money to be used to buy items.  We use the money and give the person a detailed list of how their money was spent.  We may encourage more of this type of participation.

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The microwave bowl holders are completed and delivered.  Orders will still be taken and the money used to purchase extra items to complete OCC boxes. The skit planned by Louise Kramer will be presented on Aug. 19.  The purpose of OCC, how the congregation can become involved, and shopping tips will be covered. All items collected for OCC to date were inventoried in June.  A spreadsheet was developed as a tool to continue to update the item totals.  A bulletin insert was created and given to the congregation on July 15.  Categories were noted with items still needed, as well as items that meet our goal amounts.  We will set our goal of 15 boxes each for 2-4, 5-9 girl, 5-9 boy, 10-14 girl and 10-14 boy, for a total of 75 boxes.

We will re-valuate our “Progress Poster” to determine the best way to use it to convey information to the congregation.

Various internet resources were included in the bulletin insert.  We encourage those interested in our project o review these resources:

 

 

 

 

 

 

clipwithpurpose.com

facebook.com/clipwithpurpose

 

 

 

 

samaritanspurse.org

 

 

 

 

 

facebook.com/occshoeboxes

twitter.com/occ_shoeboxes

 

The current (June 2012) count for the microwave bowl holders sold is 94.  Most have been delivered with only about 12 yet to be made.  Those should be completed within the next week or two.  The skit planned by Louise Dramer is tentatively set for August 19.  If time and scheduling permit, she may be available to have a second skit in the fall.  She will incorporate the purpose of OCC and how the congregation can become involved. The congregation continues to donate items for the shoe boxes.  Those items are deposited in a decorated tote in the church foyer.  The items will begin to ge sorted the week of June 24.  At that time we will report in the bulletin and on the Progress Poster the status of major contribution categories.

Microwave oven bowl holders were sold in May to pay for shipping costs of the shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. We exceeded our goal of paying for 75 boxes. Any money beyond what is needed for shipping will be used to purchase additional items to complete the boxes.

Louise Kramer will be presenting a skit on “Shopping for Operation Christmas Child”. The skit will include tips for shopping, including purchasing items on sale, garage sales and back-to-shcool sales. Also, information on details and statistics about the Operation Christmas Child worldwide project will be included.

We explored the idea of working with Bishop Elementary School to include them in some way with our project. Pastor Dan spoke with the school administrators and they indicated they would not be able to work with us on OCC as they are not permitted to team up with religious groups on these type of activities.

The OCC group will begin sorting items next month. We will update the congregation as to items received and items needed via the Progress Poster in the narthex. We will also continue to present information about OCC via bulletin and Banner notes and inserts.

 

Operation Christmas Child was presented to the congregation on April 15th. This effort represents a longer period the project than in past years. Our goal is 75 shoe box gifts this year. Plans are being made to connect with Bishop Elementary for ways to interface with students to help the OCC effort. Fund raising will begin to collect money to defray shipping costs for the boxes.

A list of items needed to fill the boxes will be posted here for reference. Watch for more information about how you can help with this project.

Toys: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, Kazoos, yo-yos, jump ropes, light-up/noise items with extra batteries, think fairly small, durable fun items.

School Supplies: pens,pencils, pencil sharpeners, Crayons, color/picture books, stickers, calculators, stamp pad sets, writing pads, paper, colored pencils. Hygiene items: toothbrush, toothpaste, bar soap, comb, brush, washcloth, chapstick, deodorant

Other: T-shirts, socks, underwear, caps sunglasses, hairclips/bands/bows, jewelry, craft kits, watches, deflated balls, flashlights with extra batteries, sewing kits, basic tools, shoes, flip flops, gloves, mittens, book totes

Do not buy: war related items, chocolate, food, liquids, lotions, breakable items, aerosol cans. PREFER NEW ITEMS, BUT USED ITEMS MUST BE LIKE NEW.

Age Groups – girl/boy

2-4 years, 5-9 years, 10-14 years