I have no idea how many of you have heard of Operation Christmas Child (a ministry that is part of Samaritan’s Purse), it’s a neat ministry that sends shoe boxes full of goodies to children around the globe. There’s a processing center here in Denver and on of the women in the MOPS group set up a time for a few of us to go volunteer there.
I had no clue what we’d be doing but figured it would be a good way to give back and I can’t really afford to put together a shoe box or two so I could give my time. When we got there we were split up. Funny, there were seven of us and while I was up for anything most of the group wanted to stick together. Initially they were going to swap me with a guy who could be a “heavy lifter” but someone had already snagged him so I ended up with half our group anyway.
We started out sorting the “contraband” items. Sounds silly but you’d be surprised at the amount of people who don’t read/follow the guidelines of what to put in the boxes. The good thing is that all the contraband items are donated to local charities who distribute them right in the Denver area. There were contraband boxes for candy and food items (chocolate and tootsie rolls just don’t do well in the sweltering heat in some parts of the world), toiletries (mainly breakable mirrors and liquids and gels that tend to explode en route and make a mess of the boxes), and toys and clothing (lots of toy guns, camouflage hats or clothing, porcelain dolls, glue, paints. the list could go on!). While the sorting was boring and monotonous we had time to chat and get to know each other better which was great.
After a while we ran out of stuff to sort and were moved to the “Box Hospital” where we took items from broken or smashed or overflowing boxes and put them in nicer boxes. This involved more thought since often people pack these boxes VERY FULL and finding another shoe box to fit everything into can be a challenge, but I enjoyed that better than the sorting and met a woman who’d traveled from Kansas with a group to help out at the warehouse for a few days. I also saw a former student who I’d tested several years ago. She was volunteering her time and apparently the staff is having some difficulty finding a job for her and keeping her from wandering off and doing something else. When one of the staffers heard me say I’d tested her she asked what I did and then for some ideas. I shared a couple thoughts and was glad I could be of help in that way too.
While an interesting afternoon, I was so ready to go home and relax. I am SO SORE! The backs of my thighs are killing me today and my lower back started yesterday. I was already in need of a trip to the chiropractor and am heading there first thing tomorrow! They have discounted massages to $35 and I might try to figure out how I can take advantage of that as well. Maybe Thursday after school since Stephan’s with grandma …