Collection week is always fun. Getting to talk to the various folks that come in the door is a great remedy to the cynicism we are so often drenched in. None of them have to do this. And there is no immediate pay off unless you count a sticker or a piece of chocolate from me a payoff. But they do it out of charity. And that charity creates opportunities. For us this year was a good year not just in battling cynicism, but also in numbers various. 1,429 shoeboxes collected, 95 cartons, 65.5 volunteer hours, 114 boxes from our own congregation. Soli Deo Gloria.
St. Mark’s is a drop off location for Samaritan’s Purse – OCC shoeboxes again this year. Here are the formal hours of collection week.
Mon, Nov. 12: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Tue, Nov. 13: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Wed, Nov. 14: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Thu, Nov. 15: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Fri, Nov. 16: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Sat, Nov. 17: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sun, Nov. 18: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Mon, Nov. 19: 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Many of those days there will also be someone here during regular church hours that would be happy to collect the box.
We have in the past packed shoeboxes. It has been a congregational mission running up to Advent, but it was distributed. We provided boxes and info and delivery, but asked individuals to pack their own box. One of our members in the pictures below had done this with her mother. They had been trying to double the number of boxes they did each year and when her mother passed away it became something of a memorial. But now she was looking to double from 18 to 36. The individual approach wouldn’t work so well. She engaged the women’s group and they took it on as a mission. Those in the congregation could still pack their own, but we also asked started to ask for specific items, like 36 toothbrushes and 6 dyno-trucks (for the mid-boys) and baby-dolls for the girls. Also soccer balls (deflated w/pump) for the older kids. If you couldn’t pack your own, some of these smaller items were within reach. A big help from Thrivent action grants as well. A Thrivent T-shirt is in each of those bags. Maybe not the advertisement they were thinking of, but good. Last night they packed all those boxes. Plus it looks like we will get roughly a dozen pack your own. Margaret met her goal. (No idea how we meet next year.) And I have to add that we met a personal goal that I had. When I started encouraging this I had hopes that we would reach a total number of boxes equal to every family in the congregation. With this year it looks like we will have done that. And with how it was collected, I think we got much deeper participation than we ever could have each alone. A beautiful example of “Life Together”.
Our Church took part in this for the 4th year. This year I submitted my “shipping fees” online, printed out the bar code for the box and taped it on. The benefit was said to be a note on where the boxes went. Behold, this evening I got two notes saying where those boxes ended up. Box 1 was sent to Central Asia while Box 2 went to Malawi.
Here are a couple of pictures (not our boxes, but still)…