Have you noticed our 2015 version of the holiday Give & Go? From inserts in the Watermark News to the expansive Give & Go Booth in the lobby, it'd be hard to miss the hubbub... so we hope you and your community group have already planned ways to jump in.
More Depth, not Just More Activity
One area we're participating in for another year is Operation Christmas Child. Our members get to create shoebox-gifts for kids all over the world!
But whenever we serve - especially when we're just giving material resources - it's important to look for ways to go deeper. So if you're one of the hundreds of Watermark individuals or families who are participating in OCC this year, we encourage you to read through this guide, share it with others, and make the most of an awesome opportunity!
Why Operation Christmas Child?
You may be wondering why Watermark has chosen to serve with OCC. In fact, it might even seem unwise - we've written before on the dangers of giving outside the context of relationship. And clearly Watermark members don't know the children who receive these boxes.
But the good news is, OCC has partners who are deeply involved in the communities where the boxes are given. Through these partnerships, these shoeboxes actually help grow churches, connect with families, and begin a discipleship journey with children. The goal isn't to provide a one-time gift; it's to begin a relationship with people that continues into eternity!
Read about our staff's visit to a drop-off site, watch the video below to see the connection, or read the basics of this eternal impact here.
Want more stories?
A great place to start is this year's Give & Go site dedicated to all things Operation Christmas Child! Find your campus's OCC page here:
Also, Operation Christmas Child has a fantastic library of videos at their site, and some more on YouTube. You can watch Duck Dynasty's Uncle Si or the Veggietales crew pack shoeboxes, see amazing videos of kids getting their boxes, and learn ways to share the impact with your family or community group.
Follow Your Box!
Whether it's helping collect boxes at Watermark or serving at the OCC Processing Center, you've got great ways to serve beyond just filling a shoebox. Check out your campus link (above) for opportunities and signup!
How can I use Operation Christmas Child to connect to others?
OCC can be a great way to connect with others in your neighborhood, at your workplace, in your apartment complex, or at your kids' school,. Here are some ideas:
- Pass out fliers or set up a display at your workplace, school, neighborhood, apartment complex, etc. Not only does this bring in more shoeboxes, it allows you to connect to people.
- Hold a Packing Party! This is a great idea for your neighborhood, coworkers, community group, multiple groups, etc.. Samaritan's Purse has some excellent ideas - and links to other ideas on Pinterest - for putting together an awesome party. Click here for ideas! (Just remember - our collection dates are ONLY Dec. 6 through Dec. 13, which is different from the national push.)
- Use the Family Discipleship Guide!
- Invite those who build a shoebox to serve with you, too. The OCC Processing Center is an especially great chance for big groups to serve together, including nonbelievers.
- Invite those who build a shoebox to more relational volunteer opportunities, either during the holidays or next year! This could even be a great chance to start ongoing service with others!
Photo Credit: Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child