It came as somewhat of a shock a few weeks ago to see a truck on the road loaded down with Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. How funny we thought it's April! Then a few weeks later I was asked to help with the distribution of boxes that had arrived for our church.
As we planned for the event I learned a few important lessons.
- All that dollar store junk is still dollar store junk when it reaches its destination
- When they tell you not to pack soft candy they really mean it. Sticky caramels melted all over a box of crayons is not a pleasant thing
- Those small bouncy balls in bright colours can be easily mistaken for gumball candy. Not a good idea
- Play dough, while a fabulous educational activity for preschoolers, is likely to be mistaken as a food item for hungry children.
- a clothing item (shirt, shorts, dress) is an excellent idea
- flipflops or sandals are another very practical well received gift
- a ball is a universal toy everyone enjoys
For me the most moving part of the experience was listening to one of our staff members hear pray with a grateful heart for the people who had blessed 'our' children. "Thank you for using those people to give us an opportunity to share about God's love." The next day Uncle Bosco did indeed use the opportunity to share with over 200 children the story of God's love.