Meet a couple coordinating one of the more than 4,000 Operation Christmas Child shoebox drop-off locations open across the U.S. next week.
Dale and Carole Cole serve as Operation Christmas Child logistics volunteers at Calvary Chapel Old Towne in Orange, California. During the third week of November each year, they accept shoeboxes at their drop-off location, fitting them like puzzle pieces into cartons and taking them to collection centers. The couple also recruits people to help them manage the volume of deliveries at the drop-off location.
Learn How to Pack a Shoebox
During the rest of the year, the Coles coordinate a group of men ranging in age from 72 to 84 in making homemade wooden cars and whistles out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe for shoebox gifts. Each week in the church parking lot, they move boxes of supplies from one car to another in order for the next step in the process to be completed. Then in November, the Coles invite the volunteers at their drop-off location to join in assembling the cars and whistles during times when there are lulls in shoebox deliveries.
Carole finds many joys in working in Logistics, but one in particular is learning the stories of those who drop off gifts. During National Collection Week 2014, a 19-year-old from Oregon was in California for medical appointments, staying at the Ronald McDonald House. She had already packed shoeboxes in Oregon, but she wanted to bring one to a California drop-off location as well. While doing so, she asked for help in organizing a packing party at the Ronald McDonald House when she was back for a check up this year. Carole excitedly agreed.
If you’re considering volunteering with Operation Christmas Child, Carole said, “You won’t regret working at a drop-off location. It’s fun. It’s family. It’s team.”
National Collection Week this year is November 16-23.
Interested in volunteering with Operation Christmas Child this season, go here.
To find a drop-off location near you, go here.