Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Packing Party!

Hello Vintage Homeschool families!

(And anyone else who is interested in joining us!)

We have had Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing parties many times before. This year we are going to have a

WHEN: Friday, November 13, 6-8 pm
WHERE: Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz
Children's Ministry Building 
(Classrooms on the second floor)

This year we are making the event a DOUBLE blessing--not only will we be packing shoe boxes to bless kids around the world, but we will also be raising funding for children sponsored by Compassion International!

Here's how it will work:

Most years we all go shopping in advance and then bring what goodies we have found to the party and pack our shoe boxes together. This allows us to buy items in bulk and share the bounty with other packing families so we can buy at good prices but still have a variety of items in our boxes.

This year we're going to come to the party with empty shoe boxes--and full piggy banks! We're going to "shop" at tables hosted by kids!  All items for sale will be between 5 cents and 2 dollars. All the proceeds the kids raise at their tables will go toward Compassion International children.

By the end of the night, your shoe boxes should be mostly full, and for so much less than the usual cost of buying the items at a store!  And every penny you will have spent will go straight to help other children in need. It's win-win-win!  Then you will have the next week to get anything else your family wants in their shoe boxes and drop them off at one of the two local OCC collection sites.

We will also have a free card-making station and a station for wrapping and decorating shoe boxes!

Your children do not have to host a table--they can just come and participate in the fun! Just bring your shoe boxes and plenty of spare change and dollar bills!  (Please don't expect the kids to be able to break large bills at their tables. : )  Bring friends too!

**We've never done this before, so I have no idea how many people are going to show up. So if you know for sure your family would like to come to the party, would you please be so kind as to RSVP in the comments below?  Right now we have the "big room" in the upstairs of the Children's Ministry building reserved, but if we get a bigger crowd than that room can hold we might be able to use more rooms!  So please RSVP by this upcoming Monday night, November 9th.

(And if you are not sure now, but decide to come at the last minute, that's great too!  Come! : )

If your kid/family wants to get in on the fun of table hosting:

There will be three kinds of tables kids/families can host: selling tables, crafting tables, and treat tables. 

Selling Tables
Kids who want to host a selling table should think about what items people would want to put into a shoe box (what kids want to receive!) and then either make or buy items to sell.  Do they have crafting skills?  Some ideal things they could make for shoe boxes would be:
* washcloths (knit, or cut from larger (new) towels and hemmed, etc.)
* decorated pillowcases
* scarves (decorative or functional--t-shirt jersey, knit, etc.)
* tie-dyed items! 
* potholders
*  jewelry
*  hair bows
* pillowcase dresses
***Bags with handles so the children who receive their shoe boxes can easily carry them home. Sometimes the kids must walk for miles carrying them, often while also carrying a younger sibling!

But selling tables are not just for the crafty kids!  We would also love to have tables selling bulk goods.  Some ideal things they could procure for shoe boxes would be:
* toothbrushes
* toothpaste (please be sure the sell-by date is well into the year 2016!)
* soaps
* combs
* socks
* pencils
* erasers
* notepads
* gum
* candy (no chocolate or anything that might melt in transit. Your kids can assemble candies into little ziplock baggies--or, even more fun, have a "penny candy" store and buying kids can bag their own!)

Potential sellers:
1. You get to set your own prices. Just remember to keep your prices low so people can fill their shoe boxes!
2. All prices should be between 5 cents and 2 dollars.
3. Please visit the Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing list, so you can make sure that what you are selling is appropriate.

Crafting Tables
Any kids/families who want to host a craft table are also most welcome!  This is a really fun way to add to the party fun while helping families fill their shoe boxes.  You pick the craft and prepare it, and kids pay you to participate in the activity, which they complete at your table. Just please choose a craft that is easy, low mess, can be finished quickly, and would be appropriate to put in a shoe box. Some ideas for such crafts:
* yarn wreath ornaments
* washi tape crafts
* origami birds or "balloons"
* button & wire flower bouquets
* flower-ended ball-point pens
* yarn tassel angels
* stamping cards & envelopes
* easy jewelry
* paper-cutting crafts (snowflake ornaments, etc.)

Potential crafters:
1. Please remember to chose crafts that are quick, easy, and don't make a mess.
2. You provide all the things someone would need for the craft, and people will pay you when they make the craft.
3. Please visit the Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing list, so you can make sure that what you are crafting is appropriate.

Treat Tables
Kids who want to make snacks to sell to the people at the party are most welcome!  Cookies, brownies, whatever you think people would like to eat!   If anyone wants to make a lemonade stand (or even better, a hot cider stand!) that is fine too!

Potential treat vendors:
1. Finger food only please--nothing that requires utensils to serve.
2. Don't forget to provide your customers with napkins if your treat is a sticky one. : )
3. Gluten-free & "healthy" baked treats will likely be well received. : )

**Any child/family hosting a table:
1. Leave a comment here on this blog post to request table space.  Anyone who wants to use a table for any reason must RSVP to reserve table space in advance, so I can make sure we have enough tables for everyone. The deadline for table RSVP is Monday, November 9th. 
2. It is a good idea if you say in your comment what you are planing on selling or crafting, to avoid duplication.
3. I will set up a table for you to use (which you may be sharing). But you can bring decorations for it if you like!
4. Every table host should bring some kind of container for holding the Compassion money you earn. It can be a jar, a mug, a box--whatever works!--and should be labeled "Compassion Fund."  If your family is already sponsoring a Compassion child, then please do bring a picture of your child for your table! If your family does not have a Compassion child, that is fine!  Your kids get to choose if they want to put their earnings into children represented in the room, or if they want to give it to me to send to Compassion International.
5. Your child does not have to prepare a whole lot of product to sell. If they make 10 potholders--great!  Or five adorable beaded necklaces--great!  Or one plate of cookies--yum!  This is a very kid-friendly, low-pressure event. : )

If you are new to Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing, then I urge you to visit their website and read all about them. There are videos you can watch, and stories you can read about children whose lives were changed for the better because of receiving shoe boxes!

I also recommend you purchase your packing labels online through the OCC website: this will allow your family to track your boxes and see where in the world they ended up!

Did I forget anything? Any questions?  Please ask them in the comments below so everyone may benefit from the dialogue.

I'm very excited about this event, and know that it does not matter who shows up as long as they come with enthusiasm and big hearts. Big event or small, it's going to be fun. : )