Izabella McMillon in Oklahoma

Come on out to hear Izabella McMillon speak! 

It is always inspiring, exciting and thrilling to hear the personal story of how one shoebox gift affected a person’s life!

She received one of the first Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  That simple gift meant so much to her that she uses her story and passion to make sure children continue to receive shoebox gifts.

Izabella McMillon grew up during the communistic regime in Romania when no church was allowed to share the salvation message and even going to church could have resulted in death. However, Izabella and her brother secretly attended a children’s Bible study on Saturday nights. She describes her faith at that time as having vague head knowledge of Christ but no heart understanding.

Izabella was 13 years old when revolution broke out in Romania in 1989. She had been praying for snow to come and make the country white. On Dec 26th, a few days after the revolution ended, shoe box gifts from England arrived at her town square – one of the first distribution sites for the new project. While distributing the gifts, a volunteer came over to Izabella and asked to pray with her. Without thinking twice, she responded, “Please pray for snow.” The volunteer took her prayer request seriously, and they bowed to pray. When Izabella opened her gift, there was a beautiful snow globe inside.

“From then on, I had no reason to ever doubt that God answers prayers,” said Izabella.

The following year, Izabella attended a newly opened Christian high school in Romania and then attended seminary. She later moved to the United States to work as an au pair (nanny) in Pennsylvania, to learn about American culture, and to improve her English.

After learning about the Operation Christmas Child project in the United States, Izabella began to share her own shoe box story at ACSI conventions, schools, and churches. Everywhere she speaks, Izabella takes the snow globe she kept from her shoe box gift.

“Whenever I take it out, that’s when the listeners’ tears begin to fall,” she said.

To see a video of her story on Youtube, CLICK HERE – “SHOEBOX RECIPIENT TO GIVER: IZABELLA’S STORY

Sunday, September 14
First Baptist Church
301 NE 27th St.
Moore, OK
2 services 9:30 to 10:50 am and 11:00-12:15 pm


Trinity Baptist Church
801 N PeterAve
Norman, OK
6:00pm (A short presentation)

Monday, September 15
Western OK Christian School
22381 East 1070 Rd.
Clinton, OK
10:00-11:00 am

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Timur Nesbitt Speaking Tour


It is always inspiring, uplifting and thrilling to hear a personal story of what a shoebox gift meant to a child.

“The shoebox reminded me of Jesus’ love for me, that He forgave me of my sins, and that I should forgive my parents for what they did to me. When I forgave them, God set me free from the bitterness.”

As a 10-year-old boy living in an orphanage in Central Asia, Timur Nesbitt had no concept of unconditional love. He had been abandoned in the hospital after birth and never knew his parents. Survival required him to be guarded and self-reliant.
That year, a boy his age moved into the orphanage and boldly shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with the other children. Timur and his friends ridiculed the boy and punched him. Inexplicably to Timur, the boy did not fight back and held to his beliefs.

At age 13, Timur received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox—the first gift he had ever received. Inside was a yo-yo, Tootsie Roll candy, school supplies, and a letter and photo from a boy in Texas who packed the box. “The shoebox reminded me of Jesus’ love for me, that He forgave me of my sins, and that I should forgive my parents for what they did to me,” said Timur. “When I forgave them, God set me free from the bitterness.”

Three years later, Timur was adopted by an American missionary family from Iowa. He learned about Operation Christmas Child and excitedly told them he had received a shoebox gift.

—Invite your friends & family to hear more of Timur’s story!

Evangel Church
1251 Terrill Rd. Scotch Plains, NJ
Date: Thursday, September 11th
Time: 7:30pm

Times Square Church North Jersey
450 Howard Blvd. Mt. Arlington, NJ
Date: Friday, September 12th
Time: 12:00pm

United Methodist Church of the Atonement
3519 Philadelphia Pike Claymont, DE
Date: Friday, September 12th
Time: 7:00pm

Bucks County Community Church
1249 W. Maple Ave., Langhorne, PA
Date: Saturday, September 13
Time: 10:00 am

Bethany United Methodist Church
1208 Brookside Road, Allentown, PA
Date: Saturday, September 13
Time: 7:00 pm

Enola Emmanuel United Methodist Church
22 Salt Road, Enola, PA
Date: Sunday, September 14
Time: During 10:30 am worship service

Ono United Methodist Church
9 Main Street, Ono, PA
Date: Sunday, September 14
Time: 2:30 pm

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Hey everyone!  So, August turned out to be a much more productive shopping month than June & July.  My daughter went back to school mid-August (2nd grade!!) and my son started back the last week of August (pre-K!!).  It’s so hard to believe they are getting so big.  My son was just a baby when I started this blog!  Time flies!  :)  If you have kids, I’m sure you know it makes running errands much easier when they don’t have to tag along.

So, here’s a picture of everything I picked up.  I’ve already got a huge stash of September finds that I can’t wait to share with you next month!  Yay!

august updateI’m still planning on having a little packing party in late October at my house.  I’m trying to buy enough for 100 boxes, but hoping the Lord will provide us with more.  Items I’m still looking for (be sure to tell me if you find a deal):  shirts for older girl/boy boxes, pencil sharpeners and notebooks.  I do plan on buying the notebooks at Target when they go to 70% off.  Should be any day now.  And, I typically get sharpeners from either OTC or Amazon.  Probably Amazon, since they will be free after Swagbucks.  But, other than that I feel like I’m in pretty good shape for packing 100 boxes!  Yahoo!

Here’s a breakdown of what I bought this month.  I tried to share all the deals I found, so hopefully you got some of these too:

  • 13 Flip Flops at Walgreens:  All $0.50 each, except one pair for $0.10
  • 4 toothbrushes:  Free after coupons at King Soopers (Kroger)
  • 2 Hotwheels: $0.20 each at King Soopers
  • 2 free coloring books from the airport
  • 100 pencils from Walmart (online deal) $2.83 total
  • 30 boxes of crayons $0.30 each at Office Max
  • 16 pads of Christian stickers at Michael’s $0.19 each
  • 32 beach balls at Michael’s $0.19 each
  • 2 free resuable bags from promotional giveaways
  • 24 color-yourself puzzles from Hobby Lobby $0.40 for a pack of 12
  • 36 boxes of Colored pencils from Office Max $0.60 each

Here’s an update on what I’ve spent so far:

August Total Items: 261
August Total Spent: $30.33
Time Spent: 2 hours
YTD Total Items: $401.94
YTD Total Spent: 2539
YTD Time Spent: 18.5 hours

Feeling nostalgic?  Check out my past monthly shopping trips.
June & July

Now, it’s your turn.  Tell me what great finds you picked up this month for Operation Christmas Child!


AHHH If only there were a Menards near me!!

BUT…if there is one near you – take advantage of these great deals:

menards hats and shirtsFREE hats and FREE shirts – assorted sizes, colors and designs.  Pay $6.99 – Mail In Rebate of $6.99 (limit 4)Rebate is in the form of merchandise credit.

Good Deal on Work Gloves – great for the older 10-14 BOY shoeboxes especially if you include tools or a fishing kit:

menards glovesAND

menards gloves2

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I love including something that makes noise, sparkles, has flashing lights, etc. in my shoebox gift.  It’s that little “WOW” factor that is so much fun!


I’ve often seen these recorders at Dollar Tree.  My children loved the recorder and both started in 2nd grade at school before they advanced onto other instruments.  We didn’t purchase expensive ones for them – just simple ones to learn notes and enjoy the sound.  So these might be good for the 5-9 age group.

I’ve wanted to include these in my boxes – BUT the shape!  They are soooo long!

Today Sindia sends me a message that someone has found a simple solution – staring us in the face all this time!

take them apart and place in a baggie

Kathy from the OCC HEART OF KENTUCKY group said:

Maybe I am the only person who didn’t know this, but I just learned (quite by accident) that these recorders from Dollar Tree and other discount stores have a seam that allows them to be taken apart and put back together without hurting the toy!  Now they fit perfectly in shoebox gifts!  I was working in the shoebox room and I thought I broke one of these trying to take it out of the packaging and then realized it could be taken apart and put back together! How cool is that?!

That is so cool!!!  Thank you Kathy for sharing that with us!  She opens the package, takes them apart, and repacks into a baggie!

Might even be fun to print out some simple instructions.

If you want to see the other great find from Dollar Tree CLICK HERE


100days72 Days left until Operation Christmas Child

National Collection Collection Week!
Tip#19:  Volunteer at a Processing Center!’

Volunteer at an OCC Processing Center

Millions of lives will be touched by shoebox gifts collected this year.   Each precious gift is carefully inspected and prepared for overseas shipment.  Would YOU like to volunteer at a Processing Center this year?


It’s fun.  It’s a great way to meet other people who love OCC.   You get to see more of the “journey of your shoebox.”  You really make a difference.  Your hands will be the last ones to hold and “love on” those shoeboxes before a child opens them!

Registration BEGINS THIS WEEK!

To make registration as easy as possible (remember thousands of people all want to volunteer!) this year they are trying something new. Processing Center volunteer registration will follow a staggered rollout starting the week of Monday, September 8th.

CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER and Set up a profile and they’ll send you a reminder when registration opens.

(You will want to set up your profile/account with your name and address BEFORE registration day to save time!!)

Please refer to the dates and times below to learn when registration opens ONLINE for each of the Processing Centers:

Monday, September 8th
***Baltimore/Washington 8 AM (Eastern time) – Brand NEW site!
Dallas/Fort Worth 8 AM (Central time)

Tuesday, September 9th
Boone 8 AM (Eastern time)
Denver 8 AM (Mountain time)
Hawaii 8 AM (Hawaii time)

Wednesday, September 10th
Atlanta 8 AM (Eastern time)
Minneapolis 8 AM (Central time)

Thursday, September 11th
Charlotte 8 AM (Eastern time)
Southern California 8 AM (Pacific time)


target dollar spot 70 off

All Targets Dollar Spots should be at 70% off NOW (Black Triangle items)

I’ve been surprised at how much inventory was at both of my stores!
Light up yoyos, flashcards, books, workbooks, puzzles, games, balls, socks, jump ropes, tote bags, bowls, water bottles, paddleballs, 2 pk cars, coloring pks (with crayons, stickers and coloring books), markers, pencils, stationery pks with calculators, crafts kits, craft supplies, etc.!

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spin_prod_944718812KMART – Buy One – Get One FREE on Clearanced Clothing!
Use code: KFREE at checkout

This t-shirt is $2.61- so you get 2 of them for that price or $1.30 each.
Free shipping at $59 and up – otherwise shipping is high
Might be worth getting some clothing for yourself and your family — and some for the shoeboxes – to reach that free shipping price!

This is a way to incorporated shoebox shopping into your budget
Here is the link to the children’s clearance section: tinyurl.com/pfpe6sp


kmart school supplies 1

KMART School Supply Deals
August 31-Sept. 6

King Soopers

Jessica found 90% off summer items at her KING SOOPERS (KROGER).

Flip flops as low as $0.30.

Jump ropes $0.30.

3 packs kids tank tops $1.

And more!!

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