It goes on a fabulous adventure!
First, it goes to the local Collection Center- where all of the boxes in your area go before being sent to a processing center. For example, Mountain Brook Community Church is the Collection Center for the Birmingham, AL metro area and it gets boxes as far as 50 miles or so out. Lots of boxes......
The Collection center volunteers log your boxes (to help keep the count accurate) and check them for labels and rubber bands. They do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING else to your gift!
Atlanta (Our PC)
The Processing Center is the last place in the U.S. that your box will be touched. Here they are opened, your donation is taken out, they are given a quick look through to make sure you didn't accidentally put any liquids or chocolates in (or toys with weapons), then they are taped, scanned if you have a "Follow My Box" label, and cartonized by age and gender. Once the carton is taped- it will not see the light of day until it is being opened by the receiving country for distribution.
WE INTERUPT THIS BLOG POST FOR AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHOR....
Please hear me now. I want to disspell some myths that I have heard circulating.....
1. Yes, plastic shoeboxes are fine. Some do actually crack/break- but they are used by the receivers as holders for their grain and water and other things that make them very useful.
2. Yes, candy is absolutely welcomed in the box! It may be, as I saw one lady post on FB, unhealthy- but look at the big picture!!! What is one treat in a lifetime??????!!!!
3. No, packing a HUGE box is NOT a good idea! A standard shoebox size box is VERY important to the logistics of box distribution. An estimated 14 shoeboxes will fit into each carton. Distribution Project Leaders in-country request a certain number of cartons based on each carton containing at least those 14- so you see how devastating it could be for a child expecting a box if he is in a line of 10 kids to get a box but there were only 4 huge boot boxes in the carton!! 6 hearts instantly broken!
WE NOW RETURN YOU TO THE REGULARLY PLANNED POST!
After the carton is taped, it is loaded and sent to the nearest port city that will be sending them off! Fairly amazing, isn't it? You know what's even more amazing? Taking a team to the Processing Center to work!
And THEN having a member of your team chosen to carton the last box of the season in the Atlanta PC!!!
And what could possibly be EVEN MORE amazing then that?????
Being asked by my fearless leader, Jamie, to.........
Just so you know, I <3 OCC All Year Long! And you can too! If you have a heart for this ministry, please consider becoming a year round volunteer in your commuinty! We have lots of roles to fill! Just ask me and I'll tell you how!