When I was asked to share my shoebox story, a few things came to mind. For one thing I wanted to share some of my experiences during shoebox distributions that I was blessed to be a part of. In 2002 and 2003 I was blessed to be able to go to the country of Belarus and help hand out OCC shoeboxes as a part of Josh McDowell's ministry Operation Bearlift. I have so many good memories of those 2 trips.
Several children stand out, but 2 little girls especially come to mind. One was a 15 year old who only had a doll and some candy in her box. But I still remember how excited she was and how she could hardly wait for us to get the cardboard piece off the doll so she could hold it. And at the other end of the age spectrum, a 3 year old girl. I didn't see what else came in her box, but it didn't matter cause she had eyes only for the doll in her box. 2 young girls who had probably never had a doll of their own before. I often wonder about them. One a young teenager now. Does she still play with her doll sometimes? And the other, a young lady now, perhaps with children of her own. If she has a
daughter does she play now with her mommy's doll that she got in that box all those years ago?
So many memories: Those 2 girls... the little boy with the go fish cards and the game we played... The little girl who went around sharing her pack of chewing gum with us... The older teenage girl who said “I've always known about Jesus and that He is God's Son, but until you came today I never know I could have a personal relationship with Him.”
Another thing is my love for crafting things for the boxes, especially crocheting. Over the years I have been blessed to be able to make over 10,000 pairs of mittens for shoeboxes as well as other crafts including teddy bears, dolls, jump ropes, kick balls, dresses and other fun things. I love to think of new things to try. Some of the items I put into my personal boxes. Some I give away to seed other boxes and some are given to the Charlotte NC processing center for filler items.
Over the past 3 years I have set a personal goal of 100 boxes. I was successful 2 years but missed it by 32 this year. But only because I ran out of boxes to fill. Hoping to make it up in 2014. So that is my shoebox story.