Over the course of the last year I’ve heard myself say more than once, “I’m quite taken with boys ages 10-14.”
I’m quite taken with knowing we can do something about the discrepancy when it comes to Operation Christmas Child and the lack of boxes for boys.
In case you’re not familiar with OCC they gather millions of packed boxes of Christmas gifts. People over around North America have prepared boxes filled with gifts for either a boy or a girl in the age categories of 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Can you guess which kids got the most boxes? Of course you can, because you’re no dummy. Girls ages 2-4 and 5-9. And I get it. I really do. All that cute girl stuff!! Who wouldn’t love to get one of those boxes?!
Last year you were as taken with boys ages 10-14 as I was. A humble movement started for the boys.
Do you recall how after writing the first post, my sister Elizabeth, Niece #1, and I spent four hours at the Operation Christmas Child warehouse in Denver helping to check and package boxes for OCC? An hour into in Niece #1 called out to me, “Aunt Amy.”
I paused, it’s not really a big chatting job and I was lost in thought about how I tend to romanticize semi-hard labor and then my nails break and my back aches I wonder why all parts of serving aren’t as glamourous and fun as shopping for children and making festive images for blog posts to get you and me off our butts. But I digress. “Yes dear one?”
“I’m packing a box for a boy next year. It’s been an hour and I’ve seen, like two. Two boxes in an hour.”
She added with her wry teenage smile (and the fact that she’s a much calmer personality than me and thinks I’m prone to hyperbole. WHAT? Me?!), “You are very persuasive.”
Can we please have a moment of silence, since asking you to tattoo this on your forehead might be going a bit far.
I told her, it’s not that I’m persuasive, it’s just so damn heart breaking to see girl box after girl box. OK, I didn’t actually cuss at my niece, however, the discrepancy is from the pit of hell.
You know I love math. So, if Eden was a processing plant for Christmas boxes, there would be 50% for girls and 50% for boys, with roughly 16.7% for each age bracket.
To picture how completely out of whack the numbers are, based on our rate of packing 342.8 boxes an hour, and two of them being for boys ages 10-14 … that is .005—half of one percent. Boys ages 10-14 aren’t even one-percenters.
Put simply, one out of every two hundred boxes is for a boy age 10-14.
But the Kingdom of God is now. Here. Today. The Kingdom of God is in every box for boys.
As we said last year, people are good, but might not know where to start. My friend Katherine made the list of 11 ideas for boys into a PDF. Just print it off and take it to your church or work. Help people understand how under-represented the boys are but how easy it is to help them!
Here is the PDF: operationchristmaschild-boyideas-high
Thank you for being as disturbed as I am. Just now I cranked those numbers and I’m sitting here a bit shocked. This is not right. I am deeply distressed and have already sobbed in the quiet area of the library, trying not to make noise. But change starts small and it grows. Jesus has his eyes on those boys and now He’s got our eyes on them too.
If you’re a regular around here, you know I have truly never done this. I have never asked you to share a post, but would you please share this one? I want as many people as possible to feel empowered to buy gifts for boys.
“But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.” (1 Corinthians 8:1 NLT)
Let’s love on the boys.
If you’ve never seen an OCC processing plant and you’d like a tour of what happens to your box at a packing plant,