Packing for Operation Christmas Child

My Operation Christmas Child packing process! | The Kardia Blog Happy Friday! :) Last week I shared about Operation Christmas Child and how I'm participating in the #OCCBlogShare. Today I'm super excited to be able to show you what I packed in my shoebox gift :)

This year, I chose to pack a box for a boy in the 10-14 age range because that age group receives the least amount of boxes. If, for whatever reason, they don’t have boxes for them, they usually are given either Boy 5-9 or Girl boxes.  That breaks my heart. An older boy deserves to receive gifts that they can use and cherish just as much as younger children do. Many people decide to pack for a younger child because they're easier to choose gifts for, and they may have children around that age. Honestly, packing for an older boy is just as much fun! :)

My Operation Christmas Child packing process! | The Kardia Blog

Here's what I included:

Operation Christmas Child box for a BOY 10-14:

  • Soccer ball
    • I decided to start with a fun item that would be the central gift of the box. Boys LOVE balls, especially soccer balls. I want him to open the box and find a gift that he can immediately enjoy and have fun with.
  • Pump for the soccer ball
    • To get the ball to fit in the box, I had to deflate it, so I included a pump so he can actually use the ball.
  • Hand powered flashlight
    • This is a useful gift that is still really cool. Instead of getting a regular old flashlight and sending over some batteries, I bought him a hand powered one. It's super bright and all it needs is a few cranks and it's good to go! It even comes with a carabiner clip, so he can have it with him everywhere he goes.
  • Men's travel cosmetic kit
    • This travel sized kit include a toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, deodorant, mouthwash, and a plastic reusable pouch. I took out the shaving cream because it was in a can that might explode, and I bought an extra tube of toothpaste because the small tube won't last very long.
  • Bar of soap
  • School pouch
  • Scissors
  • Notebook
  • Box of pens
  • Packet of pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Two packs of gum

I packed all of this into a clear, plastic bin with latching handles. A plastic bin is so useful, and he can use for other things once he's taken his gifts out of it!

If you want to see what I packed and how I packed it, check out my packing process in the video below! Just hit play! :)

(Note: I added the pencils and gum after I made the video)

Packing a box was so much fun, and I can't wait to do it again next year! I hope to volunteer in the distribution center again too, just like I did in high school. I love seeing all the shoeboxes getting ready to be shipped off to the welcoming arms of boys and girls. If you packed a box this year, I encourage you to link up with Haley of A Beautiful Exchange and join in on the #OCCBlogShare fun!

OCC Blog Share Button

What gender/age group do you like to pack for? Have you ever volunteered at the distribution center?


P.S. Today is me and Caleb's 3 year dating anniversary!! :D Take a look at some of our couple's photos a friend of mine took!

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child | The Kardia Blog

Happy Friday everyone! :) I don't know about you, but when the time changed last Sunday all I can think about now is how close we are to the holidays! Thanksgiving, Christmas, friends, family, food, giving, happiness, sparkle, smiles - it all makes me so happy! I can feel the joy in the air, and I just want to spread that joy and love to everyone. So, today I am really excited to share about something that I love to do to spread joy during the holiday season to those who may not otherwise experience it.
A few weeks back, Hayley from A Beautiful Exchange invited a bunch of bloggers to participate in an Operation Christmas Child linkup. Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is a charity project sponsored by Samaritan's Purse. Every year, thousands of people pack up a simple shoe box (or plastic box) and fill it with gifts that are gender and age appropriate. When packing your box, you can choose whether you'd like to send it to a girl or boy, and pick an age group (2-4, 5-9, or 10-14 years old). Once you pack your box, you can drop it off at your nearest drop-off location and from there, the gifts are distributed to children that wouldn't have had the chance to receive a gift for Christmas!
But even if you don't have time to shop for and pack a box, you can still share God's love to these children! Operation Christmas Child has this neat opportunity to build a shoebox online! You can select items from a list of gifts and even add a personal letter and photo. Your "virtual" shoebox will then become a real shoebox, as Samaritan's Purse will pack it and ship it for you! How cool is that?

Pack a virtual box for Operation Christmas Child! | The Kardia Blog

If this is your first time participating and you don't know where to start, Hayley has made a wonderful document with everything you need to know! Participating in OCC is an amazing experience. Caleb and I are super excited to go shopping for items to include in our box this weekend! Next Friday I'll be sharing what we included and show a little more of my packing process. I encourage you to join us using the hashtag #OCCBlogShare and linking up your packing process post next week!
Join us as we share God's love and change lives through the power of a simple gift.
OCC Blog Share Button

Have you ever participated in Operation Christmas Child before?


P.S. Have you ever heard of Project Impact?

Project Impact 2014

Project Impact 2014 | The Kardia Blog

Yesterday I posted about volunteering, community service, and something my college does every year that's called Project Impact. I mentioned that I was a site leader and that the organization my group was helping was the Down's Syndrome Association for Families. This organization provides support for individuals with Down's Syndrome, their family, and friends, and also gives them a better vision for the future. One of the events they do is an annual Capital City Walk to fundraise and promote awareness. Buttons are made using pictures of the children with Down's Syndrome to give out to participants. That's what a few of my friends and I were doing for Project Impact; we were helping make over 300 buttons for the walk.

The day started out with breakfast and handing out t-shirts (and sunglasses, even though it was rainy) under the clocktower on campus.

Project Impact 2014 | The Kardia Blog

Project Impact 2014 | The Kardia Blog

Then they had everyone come together to take a group picture and find enough volunteers for each site.

Project Impact 2014 | The Kardia Blog

Project Impact 2014 | The Kardia Blog

Here's our beautiful clocktower :)

Project Impact 2014 | The Kardia Blog

My team stayed on campus inside one of the main buildings. Using a few button presses, we set up an assembly line and got to work making all the buttons!

Project Impact 2014 | The Kardia Blog

Project Impact 2014 | The Kardia Blog

Project Impact 2014 | The Kardia Blog

Each child had a team name for the walk. Aren't they adorable?!

Project Impact 2014 | The Kardia Blog

Volunteering was so much fun! I'm so glad I had the chance to help the community. A few friends and I are actually thinking of joining in on the walk or simply volunteering to help. I can't wait to participate in Project Impact again next year!

And like always, here are some fun links for your weekend!


P.S. 36 ways to show love to others!

Project Impact Day

Project Impact at Union College | The Kardia Blog Guess what I'm doing today? Not going to class! Don't worry though, I'm not skipping :) I'm doing some community service, and not because I did something bad. Every second Thursday in September, Union College cancels classes for the day to give students an opportunity to make a difference in the community. It's called Project Impact, and we volunteer to help local service organizations by tackling tasks such as painting, organizing, building, filing, gardening, deep cleaning, serving meals, and other projects normal staff don't have time to accomplish.

Last year was my first year of participating and I'm so excited to do so again today! Because Project Impact is completely student led and organized, different students sign up to be site leaders. I was a site leader last year for Antelope Creek, and we walked along the park and creek picking up trash. It may sound a little boring, but it was lots of fun to walk and talk with friends and find random things on the ground! This year I'm a site leader for the Down's Syndrome Association for Families. I don't know all the details of what we're working on but I'm pretty sure it includes making bracelets for the children. I'll post all about what goes on today, tomorrow (with pictures!).

If you want to learn more about Project Impact, here's a few more details about how it started:

  • Project Impact started in 1981 as Project Brush - an initiative to pain homes for elderly and disabled residents in Lincoln. Since then, it has grown to focus on helping organizations that serve the community. This year is the 33rd Project Impact!
  • The college cancels classes and about 80% of the campus population, which is usually more than 800 students and faculty, participate each year. I have some professors that are in their second decade of participating!
  • Project Impact seeks to plant the seed of service in each student and teach them to become an active part of the community. It is a launching point for student ministries that last all year long.
  • Over 33 years, an estimated 20,000 volunteers have contributed more than 120,000 volunteer hours to more than 75 local agencies.
  • Project Impact is the longest running college or university community service day in the nation.

Project Impact - A community service day for Union College | The Kardia Blog

That's me in the middle and my roommate and Caleb next to me.

Project Impact - a community service day for Union College | The Kardia Blog

I really believe that volunteering your time and energy back into your own community is really rewarding. It brings people together and strengthens the community around you. You make a difference, even if all you do is file papers. Because someone would have had to file those papers instead of doing what their job really requires of them. You just saved them time and helped improve the efficiency and organization of the business. So there is no such thing as a volunteer job that is too small. Go out and serve!

If you really want to know more about what we do for Project Impact (and see all the fun we have) here's a video of last's year community service day.

Skip ahead to 8:12 if you want to see what happened when the day was over! ;) #colorwar

And be sure to check back tomorrow to see some pictures I've taken of today!


Where do you volunteer? 


P.S. Follow me or check out #unionunited on Instagram to see pictures of this year's Project Impact!