Imagine this scenario. It’s the month of September, and it’s time to pull out all of the items purchased the past 10 months. Socks, shoes, rulers, pencils, tiny toys, hygiene items, some items for girls, others for boys emerge from hidden storage areas. They are categorized by age, interest, and bit by bit, the piles of items grow. Next it’s time to assemble the shoebox sized boxes: hundreds of them are folded together and a sea of red and green fills the room.
Weeks go into the packing until finally it’s time to deliver these precious boxes for the start of their journey somewhere around the world.
This is an annual tradition for Linda Phillips. In 2017, she packed more than 250 boxes, and decided to challenge herself to a new record of 300 in 2018. But it turns out 300 isn’t where she would stop.
“It’s because of the kids. I know there are a lot of kids out there who are in need,” Linda said. “There have been so many disasters in this country and in so many other countries. I want to do what I can to help bring hope.”
Hope in the form of a simple shoebox. On the first day of Shoebox Collection week, Linda and her sister delivered shoeboxes to the TV-44 collection site. They filled up an entire mini van.
Linda says she’s spent almost the entire past year preparing for her 325 box delivery. “I start shopping right away [after the previous drop-off week], collecting items throughout the year; and then in September, I pull out everything I’ve purchased and I start packing. I don’t plan on a specific number of boxes for each age group, but it’s about 40 of each, give or take, at least that’s about how it turned out this year.”
Where will these 325 boxes head next? After making their way to the distribution center in North Carolina, they will continue their journey to different locations around the world.
Meanwhile, Linda will already be working on next year’s boxes.
“Isn’t it amazing?” said Drop Off Center Coordinator, Deb Smith. “Her passion to put so much into these boxes. Every year when she comes, we don’t know how many boxes she is going to bring, and every year she amazes us. Just imagine how blessed these kids are going to be.”
Additionally, Linda is very grateful for her partnership with Lima First Missionary Church, for their financial involvement in the shipping costs.
National Shoebox Delivery Week continues through the morning of November 19. Click here ( https://wtlw.com/operation-christmas-child/) to access the daily drop-off hours at TV-44, or call 419-339-4444 for more information. If you’re reading this article and you’re missed collection week, don’t worry. You can send your box directly to the Operation Christmas Child Headquarters:
Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607