Our Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign has been in full swing this week, which is why I have not had time to post. At our Maidenhead 'Warehouse' we have been receiving and checking shoeboxes all week. We have a fantastic team of people. Some of them check the contents and seal the shoeboxes. Others pack the boxes into cartons and do the heavy lifting. Still others drive around to pick up shoeboxes from schools, churches and many other pick-up points.
We've been overwhelmed by people's generosity. Many people call in to drop off their shoeboxes, most of them lovingly put together with great though for the child that will receive it. Other bring gifts of knitted articles, toys and other items which we use as 'fillers' for any boxes that contain disallowed or unsuitable items. Other people make a financial contribution and this goes towards the cost of transporting the boxes to their final destination - a cost which is not inconsiderable. And there are, of course, those who give up their time in order to make this whole thing happen.
This picture was taken on Monday, at the very start of the week, when we already had a team of enthusiastic people checking and packing.
By Tuesday the boxes were piling up - yes, all those black bin liners are full of shoeboxes!
Just occasionally we come across a shoebox with a bit of a suprise inside! We're sure the intention was good, but we cannot send food items, only sweets.
At the last count earlier today, we'd checked and packed over 1300 shoeboxes, which is roughly the same as this time last year. We would really love to exceed last year's total of over 8000 boxes, so we hope that people will continue with their generosity and we look forward to two or three more busy weeks!
I'm getting a real buzz from working in the warehouse each day - at first it was exhausting, but now we've got into a routine it's a little easier and its lovely to see and chat to all our volunteers. I've also been following what other people are doing via OCC's Facebook page. Lots of inspiration and helpful tips to be had there.