Operation Christmas Child News

Make a Difference with the February Operation Christmas Child Item of the Month

Operation Christmas Child Item Collection in Progress!

You may know that we’re collecting for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) 2018 Shoeboxes. This gives us extra time to choose special items for the shoeboxes carefully. An OCC shoebox might be the only gift a child ever receives. Is it really important to get certain items in a certain month? Yes and no. Sometimes buying at certain times yields great savings. However, Immanuel gratefully accept all allowable items all year.

accessoriesThe February OCC item of the month is accessories – like watches, hair bows, pony tail holders, sunglasses, and jewelry! Accessories are fun little items that don’t take up much space in the shoeboxes. To save money, look for accessories that are available in multipacks or on sale. And speaking of “on sale,” it’s a great time of year to find clearance sales on hats, gloves, and scarves. We could really use those as well for the OCC 2018 Shoeboxes. Remember that even though many countries have temperatures that may seem hot to us, they still experience weather that is cold to them – especially at night – and children can use these items to keep warm!

Simply drop off your donations in the bin just outside of Fellowship Hall by the children’s ministries bulletin board. If you have any questions, please contact Trephina Bedell, tbedell@ilcp.org or 847-359-1549. More on information Operation Christmas Child can be found at Immanuelpalatine.org/operation-christmas-child.

Make A Difference Year-Round: Operation Christmas Child Starts Now

By Kevin Kindelin
This article was originally posted on 2/01/17 and has been updated.

january items hats gloves & scarves

Buy an item each month to create a shoebox that will delight a child at Christmas. January’s ted items are hats gloves & scarves.

It looks like Christmas season is over. No more decorations. No more lights. No more Christmas cheer! You may like winter, but to me, without the joyous festivities of Christmas it’s just, well, winter. Sure, I’ll concede there’s some fun that can be derived from snow and ice, but there’s only so much you can do before you have to get inside and get warm. My point is that I, like most of us, complain about things we can’t control. We’re never satisfied with God’s abundant blessings. Now imagine you never even knew what Christmas was. Imagine being to the point of starvation when miraculously you were able to catch a few fish with your hands to feed your family for a day, that day being Christmas. But you didn’t know it was Christmas; you only knew you were exhausted from the effort but at least your family’s bellies didn’t hurt that day.

Now imagine you were a young child and that burden was upon your shoulders. Imagine being a child in a third world country who never knew the love of Christ, only the day to day drudgery of survival. This is where we at Immanuel stepped up to plant the seed of Christ’s love in the hearts of these children. Immanuel continues its partnership with Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization dedicated to providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Last November, Immanuel‘s American Heritage Girls, Trail Life USA boys, Fifties Plus, and Thrivent ministries participated in a national challenge to pack boxes filled with presents such as toys, school supplies, toothbrushes, combs, personal letters, and a variety of other small sized gifts to these children. Along with their shoebox gift, children also received “The Greatest Gift,” a colorful presentation of the Gospel in their own language.

Volunteers pack Shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child at our 2017 Packing Party.

Immanuel will be working on Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes throughout 2018 and will be hosting another packing party on November 5th. You may not be able to be there to take part in packing the shoeboxes but you can participate by donating something to include in the shoeboxes. Items must be new. For a complete list of accepted items, please visit our Operation Christmas Child page. Donations may be dropped off at Immanuel at any time.

We haven’t even made it to Groundhog’s day, when we can choose whether to believe or not if the shadow, or lack thereof, of a dandified rodent determines the number of weeks remaining in winter. The renewed joy and hope that comes with the onset of spring seems so far off. Instead of complaining about it, be a part of a child’s next Christmas and future by planting the seed of the love of Jesus Christ. To find out more about how to participate and/or contribute, contact Trephina Bedell, Immanuel’s Children’s Ministries Coordinator, at tbedell@ilcp.org or call the church office at 847-359-1549. Be a part of something greater than yourself. Be someone who plants a seed.

Make a Difference with the January Operation Christmas Child Item of the Month

Warm Up with the Operation Christmas Child (OCC) January Item of the Month! This month, we’re collecting hats, gloves, and scarves – hopefully when they are on sale – for OCC 2018 Shoeboxes.

Even though many countries have temperatures that may seem hot to us, children still experience weather that is cold to them – especially at night – and they can use these items to keep warm. Simply drop off your donations in the bin just outside of Fellowship Hall by the children’s ministries bulletin board. A child receives a shoebox only once in their ENTIRE life – let’s make these boxes great!

Please also pray for the children receiving the shoeboxes. Pray that they come to know Christ as their savior and pray that they may grow and thrive in health, safety, and peace. We thank you for praying, especially this month as we are starting to collect items for the 2018 shoeboxes.

January is also a time to shop…
Smart shoppers know that January is a great month to take advantage of clearance sales! There are a wide variety of sale items appropriate for OCC shoeboxes:

  • Toys, especially Nativity related crafts and toys.
  • Cold weather accessories.
  • Sporting goods - like a soccer ball with an air pump.
  • Take advantage of the “white sales” and pick up some wash cloths. Perhaps you will even find compact towels.
  • Of course, WOW items are always needed!

Simply drop off your donations in the bin just outside of Fellowship Hall by the children’s ministries bulletin board. If you have any questions, please contact Trephina Bedell, tbedell@ilcp.org or 847-359-1549. More on information Operation Christmas Child can be found at Immanuelpalatine.org/operation-christmas-child.

Did you know that we’re collecting for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) 2018 Shoeboxes year-round?

We’re doing this to get ready for a great packing party in November 2018. Working year round gives us extra time to carefully choose special items for the shoebox. These shoeboxes really matter. An OCC shoebox might be the only gift a child ever receives.

Destination Known!

We’ve learned where the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes we just packed and shipped to the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center in Minneapolis will be headed. We’re thrilled to participate in Operation Christmas Child and know that the gift-filled shoeboxes we packed will share God’s love in a tangible way and will impact not only the children who receive them, but also their family, friends, and communities. We ask you to continue praying for the children who will receive these shoeboxes.

Immanuel shoeboxes are headed to:

Ghana
Botswana

In 2016, Immanuel shoeboxes were shipped to:

Zambia
Tanzania
Guyana

Again, we’d like to thank everyone who donated to the project — including Thrivent Financial, Colgate, Immanuel members , First United Methodist Church, school families, and community members, as well as the volunteers who packed the shoeboxes, American Heritage Girls Troops IL0412 and IL3130, Trail Life USA Troop IL0412, Palatine High School Service Club, Cub Scout Pack Bear Den 209, Cub Scout Pack 397, and the Wednesday Adventure Bible Class.

Shoebox collection efforts and projects for 2018 will begin shortly.

For more information, please contact Trephina Bedell at 847-359-1549 or tbedell@ilcp.org. Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, a fixture in the Palatine community for nearly 150 years, offers a variety of programs and services to the people of Palatine, as well as weekly worship services. More information on Operation Christmas Child may be found at www.samaritanspurse.org.

December Operation Christmas Child Item of the Month – Prayer

The Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Item of the Month for December is prayer! We’ve been collecting items all through 2017, held our packing party, and served as an OCC drop-off location. Now comes the important part – prayer! Prayer is what is most needed. Please pray for the children receiving the shoeboxes. Pray that they come to know Christ as their savior and pray that they may grow and thrive in health, safety, and peace. Please pray also for volunteers, staff, and local organizations worldwide working with the kids and shoeboxes. We thank you for praying, especially this month as OCC is shipping out the shoeboxes!

December is also a time to shop…

Smart shoppers know that December is a great month to take advantage of the sales targeted to holiday shoppers. This is especially true if you are out shopping (in person or online) anyway! here are a wide variety of sale items appropriate for OCC shoeboxes:

    Nativity related crafts and toys
    • Small quality cars like Hot Wheels™ and Matchbox™.
    • Small Lego sets
    • T-shirts – Shirts without writing, are best, and these “basics” are often on sale at stores like Kohls and Target in December. Why do plain t-shirts work so well? English is not the primary language in many of the OCC countries, and kids may not even understand what is written on their shirts. There’s also a culture gap.
    • Skirts, especially with elastic waistbands
    • Hats
    • Shoes – These are especially important because shoes help kids who have to walk long distances to get to school or to get water from a well.
    • Socks – These are key…it gets cold at night even though the days are hot.
    • Of course, WOW items, like a soccer ball with an air pump, are always needed!

Simply drop off your donations in the bin just outside of Fellowship Hall by the children’s ministries bulletin board. If you have any questions, please contact Trephina Bedell, tbedell@ilcp.org or 847-359-1549. More on information Operation Christmas Child can be found at Immanuelpalatine.org/operation-christmas-child.

Did you know that we’re collecting for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) 2018 Shoeboxes year-round?

We’re doing this to get ready for a great packing party in November 2018. Working year round gives us extra time to carefully choose special items for the shoebox. These shoeboxes really matter. An OCC shoebox might be the only gift a child ever receives.

Operation Christmas Child Packing Party: Beyond the Goal

The goal was ambitious: pack 250 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child in one evening. On November 6th, over 150 people came together at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School and exceeded that goal, packing 350 boxes. The Operation Christmas Child (#OCC) Shoebox Packing Party was a fantastic success Monday night. We’d like to thank everyone who donated to the project — including Thrivent Financial, Colgate, Immanuel members , First United Methodist Church, school families, and community members, as well as the volunteers who packed the shoeboxes, American Heritage Girls Troops IL0412 and IL3130, Trail Life USA Troop IL0412, Palatine High School Service Club, Cub Scout Pack Bear Den 209, Cub Scout Pack 397, and the Wednesday Adventure Bible Class.

The shoeboxes are part of Operation Christmas Child, a project that brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations worldwide through gift-filled shoe boxes. These boxes are frequently called GO boxes, Gospel Opportunity, because they allow the love of Jesus to be shared to children who have not previously had the opportunity. Shoeboxes are filled with presents such as school supplies, toothbrushes, combs, personal letters, a toy, and a variety of other small-sized gifts. For many children, their shoebox is the first and only gift they’ll ever receive. The presents and personal letters inside communicate that someone cares for them and gives them an opportunity to experience the love of God. Immanuel Lutheran collects donations for these boxes year-round.

It is not too late to participate this year. Simply fill a shoebox (plastic or paper) with a variety of suggested items – some fun, some practical, some both – and bring it back to Immanuel during “National Collection Week,” November 13- 20. For specific times, please visit Immanuelpalatine.org/operation-christmas-child or call 224-801-8356.

Please continue to pray for the children who will receive these boxes, and for Operation Christmas Child. Shoebox collection efforts and projects for 2018 will begin shortly!

For more information, please contact Trephina Bedell at 847-359-1549 or tbedell@ilcp.org. Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, a fixture in the Palatine community for nearly 150 years, offers a variety of programs and services to the people of Palatine, as well as weekly worship services. More information on Operation Christmas Child may be found at www.samaritanspurse.org.

Shoeboxes OCC Pastor Warren
Shoeboxes AHG
Shoeboxes Trail Life

Photo Frames at Packing Party

Packing Party By The Numbers

    • 350 Shoeboxes Packed
    • 150 Volunteers
    • 9 Groups represented
    • Over 500 pictures taken
    • 2 giant photo frames
    • 6 buckets of crayons used to color friend letters
    • Over 100 cups of popcorn and pretzels served to volunteers
    • An endless number of prayers and smiles!

Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes to be distributed at Trunk or Treat this Sunday from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Want to participate in Operation Christmas Child this year? It’s easier than ever – simply pick up a free shoebox at Immanuel Lutheran church during the annual Trunk or Treat event on Sunday, October 22, from 3:00 -5:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome (all ages) and there is no admission fee. Last year an estimated 500 people attended Trunk or Treat, with decorated car trunks and kids “trick-or-treating” from them in this safe environment. Trunk or Treat will also include a variety of games and activities such as a Candyland adventure, a bean bag toss, photo opportunities, and a bounce house. Sweet treats (while supplies last) round out the event. Costumes are optional, but add a fun touch. Also of note: bring a non-perishable food item for our Food Pantry and get a prize!

Members of American Heritage Girls Troop #IL0412 assembled Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to be distributed free of charge at Immanuel’s Trunk or Treat on Sunday, October 22 from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m

The shoeboxes are part of Operation Christmas Child, a project that brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations worldwide through gift-filled shoe boxes. These shoeboxes are filled with presents such as school supplies, toothbrushes, combs, personal letters, a toy, and a variety of other small-sized gifts. For many children, their shoebox is the first and only gift they’ll ever receive. The presents and personal letters inside communicate that someone cares for them and gives them an opportunity to experience the love of God.

Once you pick up your free shoebox, fill it with a variety of suggested items – some fun, some practical, some both – and bring it back to Immanuel during “National Collection Week,” November 13- 20. For specific times, please visit Immanuelpalatine.org/operation-christmas-child or call 847-359-1549.

Another way to participate in Operation Christmas Child is to donate something to include in the shoeboxes – nail clippers, crayons, little notebooks, small toys, soap, combs, and more. Items must be new. For a complete list of accepted items, please visit www.immanuelpalatine.org/operation-christmas-child. Donations may be dropped off at Trunk or Treat this Sunday or at Immanuel prior to November 1.

For more information, please contact Trephina Bedell at 847-359-1549 or tbedell@ilcp.org. Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, a fixture in the Palatine community for nearly 150 years, offers a variety of programs and services to the people of Palatine, as well as weekly worship services. More information on Operation Christmas Child may be found at www.samaritanspurse.org.

2nd Annual Operation Christmas Child Community Shoebox Packing Event on November 6, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Immanuel's 2016 Packing Party

The 2016 Operation Christmas Child (#OCC) Shoebox Packing Party was a fantastic success. Over 120 volunteers packed and prayed over 140 shoeboxes to be sent out to children worldwide.

On November 6, Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Palatine will be hosting a “Shoebox Packing Party” open to the entire community. Volunteers will fill shoeboxes with donated items – some fun, some practical, some both – and prepare those boxes to be sent around the world. The shoeboxes are part of Operation Christmas Child, a project that brings joy and hope to children in desperate situations worldwide through gift-filled shoe boxes. These shoeboxes are filled with presents such as school supplies, toothbrushes, combs, personal letters, a toy, and a variety of other small-sized gifts. For many children, their shoebox is the first and only gift they’ll ever receive. The presents and personal letters inside communicate that someone cares for them and gives them an opportunity to experience the love of God.

You’d be surprised at how much fits in a shoebox! All of this will fit nicely when efficiently packaged.

“Everyone is invited to participate in the November 6 Packing Event. It worked out so well last year,” says Trephina Bedell, Children’s Ministries Coordinator at Immanuel. “It will be a meaningful event for all involved. My family has been involved in Operation Christmas Child for five years and we have no plans to stop. I’ve been asked what’s most needed. I would definitely say nail clippers, washcloths, soap, small tools, combs, and also the “wow gift.” The wow gift is not something that’s a “need” – it’s a wish or a want. It’s a special item like Legos, a deflated soccer ball and air pump, a backpack, a game, a toy car, a wallet, a purse, or a doll. You’d be surprised what fits in a shoe box.”

Another way to participate in the project is to donate something to include in the shoeboxes – nail clippers, crayons, little notebooks, small toys, soap, combs, and more. Items must be new. For a complete list of accepted items, please visit www.immanuelpalatine.org/operation-christmas-child. Donations may be dropped off at Immanuel prior to November 1.

The November 6 shoebox event will be held at Immanuel, located at 200 North Plum Grove Road, Palatine, IL 60067. For more information, please contact Trephina Bedell at 847-359-1549/tbedell@ilcp.org. Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, a fixture in the Palatine community for nearly 150 years, offers a variety of programs and services to the people of Palatine, as well as weekly worship services. More information on Operation Christmas Child may be found at www.samaritanspurse.org

September is a Great Time to Buy School Supplies for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

The kids are back in school and many stores have school supplies on clearance right now making it a great time to pick up donations for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes!

OCC School supply list:

  • Rulers
  • Pencils
  • Crayola Crayons (24 count or smaller). Crayola crayons won’t melt when shipped overseas to warmer climates…other brands will.
  • Colored Pencils
  • Notebooks that will fit in a shoebox

Simply drop off your donations in the bin just outside of Fellowship Hall by the children’s ministries bulletin board. If you have any questions, please contact Trephina Bedell, tbedell@ilcp.org or 847-359-1549. More on information Operation Christmas Child can be found at Immanuelpalatine.org/operation-christmas-child.

Did you know that we’re collecting for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) 2017 Shoeboxes year-round?

We’re doing this to get ready for a great packing party this November. Working year round gives us extra time to carefully choose special items for the shoebox. These shoeboxes really matter. An OCC shoebox might be the only gift a child ever receives.

September Operation Christmas Child Item of the Month – Games

The Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Item of the Month for September is games! What a fun item and travel games fit the bill perfectly! Their compact size ensures room for other items in the shoebox, many of them necessities. A mini Etch-A-Sketch or simple pegboard game would also be wonderful. Besides size, please also keep relevance in mind. Operation Shoebox kids probably don’t have access to American television, social media, and video games, so they probably won’t recognize our popular trademarked characters. A child receives a shoebox only once in their ENITRE life – let’s make these boxes great!

Smart shoppers know that September is a great month to find the very last of the school supplies, flip flops, and summer clothes on deep clearance and we’d like to remind everyone that we’re thrilled to collect all items year-round. There are a wide variety of sale items appropriate for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoeboxes:

  • T-shirts – Shirts without writing, are best. English is not the primary language in many of the OCC countries and kids may not even understand what is written on their shirts. There’s also a culture gap.
  • Shorts, especially those with elastic waistbands so they last and fit longer.
  • Skirts, especially with elastic waistbands
  • Hats
  • Flip Flops/Shoes – These are especially important because shoes help kids who have to walk long distances to get to school or to get water from a well.
  • Socks – These are key…it gets cold at night even though the days are hot.
  • Rulers
  • Pencils
  • Crayola Crayons (24 count or smaller). Crayola crayons won’t melt when shipped overseas to warmer climates…other brands will.
  • Colored Pencils
  • Notebooks that will fit in a shoebox

Of course, WOW items, like a soccer ball with an air pump, are always needed.

Simply drop off your donations in the bin just outside of Fellowship Hall by the children’s ministries bulletin board. If you have any questions, please contact Trephina Bedell, tbedell@ilcp.org or 847-359-1549. More on information Operation Christmas Child can be found at Immanuelpalatine.org/operation-christmas-child.

Did you know that we’re collecting for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) 2017 Shoeboxes year-round?

We’re doing this to get ready for a great packing party this November. Working year round gives us extra time to carefully choose special items for the shoebox. These shoeboxes really matter. An OCC shoebox might be the only gift a child ever receives.