Some beginnings are small. Babies come to mind. And shoebox goody collecting. Some middlings are messy. Age comes to mind. And shoebox goody collection.
As far as storage was concerned our first year collecting for Operation Christmas Child was easy. We went to one store, bought enough goodies for two shoeboxes, and went home to pack two boxes, to send two boxes. Nothing leftover. We started small.
The next year, we had a few leftovers.
Power of Shoebox Leftovers
I got to thinking about the power of those leftovers. Rather like a tiny bit of yeast that raises a whole loaf, I knew that with those meager beginnings and God’s leading and massive help, we could raise a few extra shoeboxes if we began collecting earlier in the year.
Around that time, I began following Clip With Purpose. I don’t get out and about much, so I miss all those wonderful sales, but I caught her heartbeat. When we interviewed Alex Nsengimana together via Google+, my heart sunk deep into shoeboxes, the Savior who motivates them, and the children who receive them.
Storing OCC Shoebox Stuff with OCC Shoebox Stuff
Last year, I got so into making for, creating patterns for and blogging about shoeboxes, I kind of let go of containing the metaphorical bread dough as it rose. Does an I Love Lucy episode come to your mind, too?
As the treasures amassed, I had my family just put OCC stuff with OCC stuff. In boxes, in bags, in corners, wherever it was sort of out of the way.
Remember, some beginnings are small. It’s ok to begin small. And some middlings are messy. It’s ok to get messy as you grow.
Sort of Turns to Sorted
As Packing Day neared the calendar bend, I realized God had been SO good, I had to do some serious sorting of my sort of out of the way treasures.
Like had to go with like to make the packing process easier:
Taking several weeks of a few minutes here, a few minutes there, I put crayons with crayons, markers with markers, rulers with rulers.
But when Packing Day arrived, I found there was still plenty to sort.
God was stretching my faith inch by inch, ruler by ruler.
Finer Sieve of Sorting
Crocheted items were with crocheted items, but not really sorted by boy/girl or age or by item (pencil case/gift bag/hat).
And there were plenty of other things like socks and shirts and toys and calculators to sort, too.
What I learned most on Packing Day was that it is very, very tiring to include Finish-Sorting Day in the same sunrise-through-sunset as Packing Day. Although I had help with the physical moving of everything, I was still wiped out by the end of the day. So was my faithful crew. I learned this:
It’s great to begin small, it’s doable to middle messy, but it’s helpful to plan big.
I have to scoot because I have some sorting of a few sewing supplies to do for my first real live sewing class! Now that I can make a Pillowcase Dress on my own (many thanks to Simply Shoeboxes!), I’m going to learn to make another kind of little girl’s dress out of fabric with a pattern – with a real live teacher!