Children in Fiji receiving shoebox gifts

It’s October and here at Immanuel that means that we’re counting down the clock until the November 5th Operation Christmas Child Packing Party! We’re focusing on basic items we still need: socks, hats, gloves, and bowls, utensils, and cups.

“It may be surprising, but most children in developing countries don’t have utensils to eat with; they have to eat with their hands. Can you imagine that?” says Immanuel’s Children’s Ministry Director, Trephina Bedell. “Schools don’t provide bowls or utensils either. The children who are able to bring a bowl and utensils to school go first at mealtime. It’s not because they are more important, but because the other children need the food to cool down first. Plates are too big for the shoeboxes, but we can easily fit in a bowl, cup (stuffed with other items) and high-quality plastic utensils. I recommend the KALAS line from Ikea.” An 18-piece set of flatware sells for $2.99 and you can divide that among 6 children. The KALAS bowls also sell for $2.99 for a set of 6. Bedell adds, “You’d be surprised at how much can fit in a shoebox. One of the boxes we packed weighed in at 16 pounds!”

Please note: the “official” Operation Christmas Child item of the month for October is “Letter and a Photo” and Immanuel is encouraging that as well. If you plan to pack a box, please bring a letter written to the shoebox recipient and a photo of yourself (optional) with you on November 5th – it will delight the child who receives the box that you packed.

Want to know more about the November 5th Packing Party?

Volunteers at our 2017 Packing Party

On November 5 starting at 6:30 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Palatine will be hosting a “Shoebox Packing Party” that is 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 toys, school supplies, toothbrushes, combs, personal letters, and a variety of other small-sized gifts. For many children, their shoebox is the first gift they’ll ever receive. By including presents and personal letters, we communicate that someone cares. And it gives them an opportunity to experience the love of God.

Remember, WOW items, like a soccer ball with an air pump, school supplies and hygiene 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, or 847-359-1549. More on information Operation Christmas Child can be found at

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.