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Photo by Kevin G. Gilbert/Chief Photographer

Photo by Kevin G. Gilbert/Chief Photographer

For 10 years, members of The Good Shepherd Ministries in Hagerstown, MD, have prepared Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse. The first year, they decorated and filled 50 shoeboxes with school and hygiene supplies, along with an assortment of small gifts, that were sent to children in need in Appalachia and overseas at Christmas.

Jeanette of Waynesboro, Pa. has coordinated the effort from the beginning through the church’s Hearts of Love ministry, but “wrangled” Dottie of Hagerstown into serving as co-leader with her after the first year.

They work with a core group of 12 to 20 church volunteers throughout the year unpacking and preparing supplies in preparation for the packing party, a weeklong effort the week of Nov. 10 to fill the shoeboxes, pack them into cartons, then tally and load them onto an awaiting tractor-trailer in the church parking lot.
Last year their outreach had grown to 2,238 boxes.

“The Lord was impressing on us that we can do 5,000. There’s no way, but that is our goal,” Ebersole said. “Five thousand. That’s out of Dottie and I’s comprehension. So we’ve been busy bees.”
With lots of prayers and through ramping up their volunteer work days to at least weekly, instead of twice a month, the team is committed to what seems like an improbable goal.

To read the rest of the story and just how they achieve their goal, check out The Herald Mail and CLICK HERE


pinworthyDid you know, it is almost this blog’s 4th birthday?  So, just out of curiosity, I was looking into what posts this blog have been the most popular. I wanted to share the top 5 with you, just to make sure no on has missed them!  Click on the links to check them out!

1.  Just the home page of our blog (Pinned over 6,000 times!)

2No Sew Fleece Hat  (Pinned over 5,00o times!)

3.  10 Minute Fleece Drawstring Bag (Pinned over 3,00 times!)

4.  Ideas for a Boys 10-14 Year Old Shoebox (Pinned nearly 3,000 times!)

5.  The Operation Christmas Child Amazon Store (over 1,000 times!)

If you’re not already following Clip with Purpose on Pinterest, you definitely should do so.  Lots of great ideas to share!

I think there’s a lot of pin-worthy stuff on our site.  What do you think of the list?  Any of these posts you hadn’t seen yet?  Or, do you have any favorite past posts that you think everyone should check out that didn’t make the top 5?





Such a fun video about a little teddy bear who yearns to be in a shoebox gift!

The video was produced by OCC in Germany but still would be very cute to show to your children, or Sunday School Program.



Cindy Jean's Sweater Vests

Aren’t these just wonderful!  I absolutely love them!

Cindy Jean shared these great pictures of the sweater vests she’s been knitting and I knew I needed the pattern!

She agreed to share it with us:  :)

Sweater Vest Knitting Pattern

To make these sweater vests, you knit two rectangles for the front and back, knit 2 rectangles for the straps, then sew or crochet them together.

Use a size 10 1/2 knitting needle and leftover worsted weight yarn.

For the smallest vest:  cast on 35 stitches and knit every row for 91 rows.   To make the straps, cast on 10-12 stitches and knit in garter stitch for 30 rows.

For the medium size vest:  cast on 39 sts and knit for 112 rows.  To make the straps, cast on 12 sts, and knit for 34 rows.

For the large vest:  cast on 50 sts and knit for 130 rows.  To make the straps, cast on 15 sts and knit for 34 rows.

Make the front and back rectangles exactly the same.

Here is one way to ensure that the back and the front rectangle are exactly the same size:

She knits them both together on the same needle – so it would be a combination of 35 stitches and a space and 35 stitches.  To keep the yarn separate – she uses a string of yarn from the center of the skein for one set of 35 stitches, and a string of yard from the outside of the skein for the other 35 stitches (keeping the rectangles separately knitted of course)

(As a novice knitter, I might try to just knit 2 separate rectangles myself though – I get confused too easily, lol.)

When sewing or crocheting the vests together, leave the top 1/3 of the vest open for the arm holes.

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Decorate Your Box

Marianne shared these AMAZING lid ideas over at the Operation Christmas Child facebook page!
I can’t decide which is my favorite – can you?

1.   Glue a piece of felt to the inside of the lid and include some pictures. Be creative, make your own. ABC letters, animals, Noah’s Ark, Nativity. They will last longer if laminated (or clear contact paper) and a piece of sandpaper or felt on the back to help them stick on the felt.

2.   I copied a road design from the internet, but many of you are creative enough to do your own.  Include a few small cars and let the child have fun racing it around the lid.  I spoke to one little girl and she shared her idea of making a castle and I think she is going to make some princess and fairy tale designs…how cute for the girls.

3.   Glue a Lego base on the lid, add men, vehicles and lots of blocks.  You might want to put the pieces in a baggie so they stay together and don’t end up with the other items in the box. Someone suggested putting the Lego base on with Velcro – a great idea – then the child can take it off the box and play with it.

4.   I bought some chalkboard paint at a paint store. It took several coats, but it turned out pretty good – the pic didn’t but the lid did! Write your own message, include colored chalk and even the chunky sidewalk chalk would work. Pack a rag or some type of eraser so they can enjoy it over and over.

5.  Find a small metal box. Glue the bottom of the metal box to the inside of the shoe box lid. Fill the box with any type of magnet – ABC letters, magnetic animals, make your own using advertising magnets and paint or marker your own message over top of the advertising, tic-tac-toe game pieces…have fun!

These are wonderful, don’t you agree?

Operation Christmas Child cartons

Wonderful cartons full of shoebox gifts in 2013 on their way to the Philippines!

Phew! Today was a busy day!
We received 7 pallets of these special cartons today at our Collection Center!
It’s time to distribute everything and train our Relays!
Can you believe that Collection Week is less than a month away?

We are gearing up!
Lots of preparations – getting the volunteers, setting up schedules, gathering and sorting supplies……
Are you getting excited?


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Time to pick up those few items you need to finish your shoeboxes! 

Collection Week is in less than a month!


abc's of shoebox packing

Here’s a fun list!
The ABC list of possible items to include in a shoebox gift.

This would be great to illustrate with photos or actual items on a poster or bulletin board in your church!

  • A – Accessories for girls (bracelets, hair bands, necklaces, rings, barrettes)
  • B – Balls ~ (tennis balls, bouncy balls, footballs, soccer balls)
  • C – Crayons and coloring books
  • D – Dolls and stuffed animals
  • E – Etch-a-Sketch
  • F – Flip flops
  • G – Garden or Work Gloves
  • H – Hammers (nails and other small tool sets for boys)
  • I – Illustrated board books
  • J – Jump ropes
  • K – Kids’ clothing (t-shirts, pants, dresses)
  • L – Lollipops
  • M – Mittens and scarves
  • N – Noisemakers (harmonicas, whistles, horns)
  • O – Outdoor toys (small Frisbees, little planes)
  • P – Pencils, pens and notebooks for school
  • Q – Quick and easy kids’ puzzles
  • R – Race cars
  • S – Sunglasses
  • T – Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • U – Underwear
  • V – Visors and hats
  • W – Washcloths and soap
  • X – eXtra batteries for flashlights or battery-operated toys
  • Y – Yo-yos
  • Z – Ziploc bags (remember to bag your candy and soap!)

Thx. Lois!


What do YOU Say

On line at Target with a full cart of flip flops, we often get curious stares and questions.

Or at big family dinners or PTA meetings, we might get some questions as well.

We only have a few seconds to come up with a response.

Do people ask you: 

1. “What is Operation Christmas Child?”

Here are a few answers:

“Operation Christmas Child is a project of the international relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse. Our mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items and school supplies as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We ship these simple gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine and disease; and to children living on Native American reservations in the U.S.” – (from the OCC fb page – how OCC described itself!)


“Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind. It uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world. A small shoebox can teach a child about the love of God, lead him or her to faith in Christ, inspire pastors and plant new churches. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out is eternal. Be a part of changing lives through the power of a simple gift.”

OR do some people at church ask:

2. “What is the MISSION Of Operation Christmas Child?”

“The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.”


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