Operation Christmas Child #OCCGiving

Yesterday, Grace and I went shopping at Target and Dollar Tree. Now, those of you who know me or follow me on twitter or Instagram will know that me shopping, especially at Target, is not a rare occasion. But, yesterday, the shopping wasn’t for me.

It was for Operation Christmas Child, part of Samaritan’s Purse, and a little girl who we imagined to be eleven years old, just like my Grace, who lives somewhere else in this world. And we Christmas shopped for her.

It was an amazing experience.

We stood there, side by side, and looked at items – brushes, combs, barrettes, toys, crayons, books, flashlights, candy – and imagined this girl, this girl who we will never see but is already impressed upon our hearts – opening this shoebox filled with the treasures that we picked out on a mild November day in Minnesota.

It was an overwhelming experience of joy and giving and hope and gratitude.

We squished and pushed and rearranged and repackaged and bent and crammed all of those items into a much too small shoebox. And as I stood in my kitchen putting in those headbands, socks, candy, toys, color crayons, bags, and more my eyes filled with tears. This cost me $30. That is it. Thirty dollars that I would spend on so many other things without blinking an eye. Thirty dollars that to me, probably won’t make a difference in my life, but for this girl in our hearts – these boxes are life changing.

They often get nothing. These children. All over the world.

And that is why, today, I am beyond proud to share our experience about packing our Operation Christmas Child box. These boxes matter. They are intentional. They are about giving back. And, my friends, you will be blessed in return. My eyes were so full of tears as I explained to my kids just why she’ll be excited about this box wrapped in last years roll of Christmas paper will matter. I told them that these are the only presents she will receive and that these items will be treasured.

I put in a picture that Caleb drew her. And a sweet note that said Merry Christmas with a smile.

And tears fell down my cheeks.

This wasn’t about me. This was about her. And bringing a bit of joy to someone else’s life. Life isn’t just about getting – it’s about learning to bless. And, I’m so grateful to be able to share this experience with my children and teaching them the joy in giving to others.

Life matters.

This week is the annual collection week for Operation Christmas Child. I am so blessed to be able to share our opportunity with you and am thankful for Blogfrog for facilitating this mass media blitz.

You can make a difference. One shoebox at a time.
Please join Operation Christmas Child this year.
Bring joy.

Visit Operation Christmas Child to find out more.

Join the Operation Christmas Child Facebook Page.
Join on twitter at @OCC_Shoeboxes using hashtag #OCCGiveBack
Join on pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/OCCshoeboxes
And finally – watch this video about 100millionth shoebox given. And try to not cry.

to subscribe by email – click HERE.

This is a sponsored conversation thanks to Blogfrog. No compensation was given, and all opinions are my own.Images and original content are sole property of Rachel Martin and may not be used, copied or transmitted without prior written consent.

Operation Christmas Child and influencer marketing platform BlogFrog have teamed up with 200 bloggers like me to spread the word about this great cause. 


BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built.  Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.

17 Responses to “Operation Christmas Child #OCCGiving”

  1. November 15, 2012

    Lisa Reply

    WE did shoeboxes too! My kids are hoping to get a letter back from some of the kids.

  2. November 15, 2012

    Heidi Reply

    We’ve packed many shoeboxes over the years! I have a dear friend who has served as an area representative for OCC for many years. She took Ashley to the processing plant a few years ago.

    I believe that my Grac(i)e and I will go and fill some shoeboxes today as well!

  3. November 15, 2012

    Laura Reply

    Such a great post! Thank you for the visual documentation. 🙂 We did OCC this year too!

  4. November 15, 2012

    Sara Reply

    LOVE this post. My family packed out shoeboxes on Sunday (89, PTL!) and it is SUCH a blessing. I love this ministry.

  5. November 15, 2012

    Kristen Reply

    As we packed our shoebox the words of Matthew 25:40 ran through my head. “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

  6. November 15, 2012

    Misti Reply

    We LOVE OCC!!! We are dropping off our boxes today.

  7. November 15, 2012

    learning table Reply

    We are packing a box for a little girl this year, too. We are also working on a project with other homeschoolers to fill blessing bags for the homeless. This is a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing.

  8. November 15, 2012

    Tiffany Reply

    My goodness I’m almost embarrassed to type this, but this is the first I am hearing of OCC. My eyes were welling up just reading this post. Thank you so much for sharing about this wonderful opportunity to bless a child. I researched and found a local church collecting shoeboxes in my area this week. I intend on bringing my two year old and two month old out to shop for and put together our box tomorrow. They are too young to understand what we are doing this year, but will in years to come. I am so excited to start what will be an annual holiday tradition of giving in our home, thanks to you and your family!! Have a blessed day!

  9. November 15, 2012

    Rina Reply

    How noble! I really appreciate what you are doing. I am sure it will make those children happy and thankful. Sending a lot of good vibes too from here 🙂
    Your photos are great!

  10. November 15, 2012

    Krystal Reply

    We do these shoebox’s through our small country church. This year my family plans on doing 2-4 boxes. This is a tremendous gift and a great way to give back to those less fortunate. I was so happy to see other families around the US doing this program!!!

  11. November 15, 2012

    Chris Carter Reply

    Our AHG (American Heritage Girl) troop packs boxes annually for OCC!! We have been known to pack almost 200 boxes… we collect supplies through out the year and plan as best we can to bless as many children as possible! It’s such a great honorable cause…

  12. November 15, 2012

    Shannon Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. November 15, 2012

    Shannon Reply

    We packed 4 boxes this year. Each of our children was adopted (3 internationally). Our middle two know especially what it feels like to ‘go without.’

    After we shopped and packed up our boxes, each of the kids chose 2 toys of their own that they wanted to pass on to ‘their child.’ That was a very sentimental moment.

  14. November 15, 2012

    tammy doane Reply

    Our kids’ church program packed boxes last week. Children really do enjoy giving.

  15. November 16, 2012

    BRITNI Reply

    We just ours this week!!! Our sone {7} was filled with joy that he could help bless another child!

    Newest Follower!! http://www.thelifeinbloom.blogspot.com I cannot wait to get to know you better!!

    Smiles, Britni

  16. November 16, 2012

    Lynn Reply

    Oh! Oh! That was definitely a smile in there!
    Know that you’re always in my thoughts and prayers!
    Romans 5:1-4 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
    My email address

  17. November 16, 2012

    Catrina Reply

    We’ve done OCC for as long as I can remember, and I never cease to be amazed with how much it blesses me. This year we got to share it with our church here, and we marveled how our boxes could go to people who live only a thousand miles away [we live in Europe]. And I have to say, I am not a mama [yet! but I have several years to go before that. :)], but I always love reading your posts. Sometimes they are more applicable than others, but they’re always a blessing to this sixteen year old. Thank you.

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