Operation Christmas Child Packing Party

Saturday, we conducted our annual Operation Christmas Child Packing Party! Now, most years, we order like 100-200 boxes, invite 100-200 people, prepare several bucket-loads of food, and get 1-2 families. . .3 at the most . . .coming out to help, and have enough leftover food to last us the entire rest of the year. No complaints – we usually still get between 75-100 boxes done; it just takes hours.

So, this year, because of COVID, we cut the invite down to five families, expecting at the VERY most, two of them to come, and I planned a minimal amount of food and we only ordered 100 boxes (just to be safe, you know). Also, just to be safe, we ordered 75 boxes worth of the “essentials” (soap, washcloths, toothbrushes, etc). In case I haven’t explained this to you before, our general method is to provide the shoeboxes, food, and essential items, and ask people to bring toys. Of course, we also go buy a bunch of toys – usually enough to fill 50-ish boxes – and then we count on everyone else to bring the rest.

My friends, I would like you to know that out of the five families we invited, four came. FOUR! Either everyone is tired of being stuck indoors or we no longer live in the city . . .we were delighted, of course, but also…Daniel had to assure me over and over again that we had enough food, and we got 95 boxes packed in 3 hours, stopping only when we ran out of toys.

Clearly this means that next year we should order 400 boxes and invite 100 people again. Our house can fit that amount, right?

I will say the most adorable part was watching the children pack boxes for children. One friend’s little girl (3 years old) ONLY wanted to pack boxes for girls her age. Her mother would occasionally convince her that they should pack a boy box, or maybe even an older girl box, and then they would get the toy sections, and she would instantly renege and go back to a little girl box. And by the end of the day, she was pretty good–I would watch her settle on the floor, squishing that washcloth around that doll until it was good and tight before reaching for something else. I really wish I’d caught a picture of that.

Oh, the food? We had enough, but only just. We had only enough leftovers for two days.

And that is my weekend update.

P.S. No, I did not get any writing done.


3 thoughts on “Operation Christmas Child Packing Party

    1. So, funny you should ask. Someone else asked this same question the other day. As far back as I can remember, I have tried to participate in OCC. You know, doing like a box a year–I am not certain how often I succeeded, but I tried. And then, after I graduated college, a couple friends and I decided to get together to pack boxes one year. I had collected a bunch of shoeboxes and went out and bought toys and there were only like three of us, but we packed…I think like 12 boxes or something? And from then on, I was hooked. I loved the packing party – it felt like something bigger I could help with and make a difference. I honestly do not remember when Daniel and I transitioned to the really big parties (purchasing boxes and stuff), but ever since that one year, I’ve done something every year!

      Liked by 1 person

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