Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Craft Hope: Operation Handmade Shoebox


I recently received a copy of Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause to review here. And, I've picked up this book over and over and been inspired every time!

Author, Jade Sims, began a blog for crafting handmade goodies for a worthwhile cause. She started with one project and now has tens of thousands of crafters in more than 100 countries following her site and making handmade things for others around the world!

This book showcases 32 projects that can be made and sent to a charity who could benefit from the specific item. Many designers have contributed ideas to this book and the book is beautifully done!

Since I am a crafter, this hits home to me in that I love to make things for others that will be useful and meaningful. I find that crafting something to sell just doesn't hold the same joy or pleasure that it does to give something to others. And, not everyone loves receiving a handmade gift.

But, imagine all the needs around the world and how our hobbies could reach out and hug them through our hands and creativity! Jade has done more than imagine this - she has made it a reality!

My only complaint about the book was that none of the charities seemed to be faith-based organizations. But that is really easy to fix since I'm aware of some that I'd love to be involved with!

I pondered how I would take these beautiful ideas and put feet to them and carry it out. What is my place in all this?

Here is what I decided - I love Operation Christmas Child. It is an organization that I love and supports children around the world in giving them Christmas! So, I've decided to be as creative as possible in putting our shoeboxes together this year and I'll be showing you along the way!



Guess what? I get to give a book away to one of you as well! Please leave a comment about how you would love to "craft hope" for someone else!
Comments will be accepted until Thursday (September 30) at 10pm EST.

68 comments:

TamaraP. said...

Monica,
Looks like a great and useful book. My family loves to fill boxes for Operation Christmas Child. I have never included anything I made myself. Thanks for opening my eyes to add something very special to our boxes this year! :o)

TamaraP. North Carolina

Audrey said...

I run the girls club ministry at my church; operation Christmas Child is one of our projects. This book would be a great addition to our library.

All things bright and beautiful... said...

Hello Monica
How strange I have been bloggng this week about crafting for good causes as a way to feel useful since suffering a stroke. I truly feel God just leads us by the hand :)
Blessings,
Lynn.

Ami said...

Every year when I fill the shoeboxes, I cringe a little at putting in cheap junk "Made in China"...is this stuff going straight back to the poor working conditions it came from, as a gift? I would love to see some ideas for including handmade things in the box! And I'm just teaching my 5 year old some needlework. I bet we could work together on some projects!
ericself@roadrunner.com

Carly said...

Very cool book and idea! I loved the pillowcases that were being made for various charities and would love to give that a try.

*carrie* said...

This is so great, Monica! I've been on the lookout for projects my MOPS group can do since my role this year is to coordinate service activities.

One idea I want to look into more is making homemade card kits for kids who have a deployed parent.

JStacie said...

I'm looking for some fun ways to incorporate service into our home, for me and my children. Thanks.

Kerry said...

I would love to win a copy of this book! My daughter and I are trying to learn to sew, and I love the doll design in your picture. We put together shoe boxes every year for Operation Christmas Child. It would be so fun to put something we made in the boxes this year! I don't comment often, but I'm a loyal reader, and you encourage me daily. Thank you!

Carol said...

We also participate in Operation Christmas child. There is also a local ministry that these craft ideas could possibly be used for. Thanks so much!

Carol
tootsweet61@comcast.net

Sheila said...

Those little dolls you showed would be perfect shoebox items! I would love to be able to send something a little more personal than I usually do.

Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

What a fun looking book. Every year we make a box for Operation Christmas Child. This year we are going to make a box for a child in Haiti (we have missionary friends there and several of us are going to make boxes for children in an orphanage there).

LynnMarie said...

One of the ladies at our church was just sending out a Face Book request for a crafting night. Something to make and get to others that need them. This would be a great gift for the Church to look through and decide what we all wanted to do. Boy I hope I win this one. Thanks.

Jennifer said...

This very topic has been on my heart all week! I have a useful craft for Operation Christmas Child ready to go, this post motivates me to get it done!
Thanks Monica!

Anna said...

I am about to take on the Wednesday night kids program at church. A big focus is going to be on missions and reaching out to others with the Love of God! I think it would be great to incorporate some of those ideas to do with the kids as a ministry to others.

angie said...

I think that Soule Mama's baby knit cap project for Haiti is in that book. I would love to see the others.
I already have a stash of gifts for the shoeboxes, but adding something homemade feels so right. I want to put my heart into a gift that will be recieved by a child who needs emotional filling as much as material goods. I will look forward to following the projects you come up with! And if they aren't sewing, I'll try them too!

Amy said...

My daughter loves crafting and it would be wonderful to give her passion a purpose. Thanks for a great giveaway!

Angel said...

We've been collecting items for our shoe boxes since summer began (when all those school supplies go super cheap).. we'd love to make some more too!

Angel said...

We've been collecting items for our boxes since the school supplies went super cheap this summer. We'd love to make some too!

Michele said...

Since I'm now teaching high school girls, I'm trying to come up with ideas to encourage them to serve others. I'd use this book for ideas of things we could make together and give to others.

Heather said...

While I am not the most creative person in the world, my MOPS group uses our creative activities to benefit others. We do Operation Shoebox every year. We have also done things like making care bags for a women's shelter. A book like this may help inspire new projects our group can do in the future!

being molded said...

Our church also participates in Operation Christmas Child. what a blessing this book would be.

Stacey said...

What a great book and idea for Operation Christmas Child. I never even thought of handmade items other than the cards that the girls have made. Thank you!

Tim and Susan said...

We too love Operation Christmas Child. Great idea to make something for these gift boxes.

I have enjoyed helping ladies at our church here in Japan make little crafts, often as an outreach for them to invited their friends. Also, I am always looking for ideas for simple craft projects for the Sunday School kids I teach.
Enjoy and thanks for inspiring us!Susan

Danielle said...

I agree. It is more fun to make things to give away than to sell them. Also, most of my family doesn't appreciate handcrafted gifts. That is a great idea Monica! And the book looks like a lot of fun!

Tami said...

It looks like a book filled with wonderful ideas. I only recently became involved in charities. It was not something I grew up with...giving to others...unselfishly. I've always adored making and giving things to people that I know but I've been convicted about helping others outside of my "circle". I want my children to grow up seeing and living the attitude of charity. We've taken to going to the homeless shelter and cooking for others and have become involved in military charity but I want to do more. I would like us to do more. I'm never sure what to do and this seems like a wonderful starting point.

Jason and Danielle said...

That book sounds so neat! You know there is an organization called conkerrcancer. Org you make pillow cases and then drop them at your local childrens hospital. They give the pillowcases to children going through cancer treatments. I am having my littles do this with me this month. They are going to pick out the fabric, learn to make a pillowcase, and then come with me to drop it off. It should be a very rewarding experience for them to serve another and cheer someone up who is down. Just thought I would share. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea. I too cringe when I put the cheap "made in China" toys into our shoeboxes. You have inspired me to make some handmade crafts for our shoebox children. Hopefully they will feel the love and prayers from us as they hold their gifts. :)

Blessings,
~Yvette

Anonymous said...

Would love to make crafts for giving. i know i love recieving homemade gifts.
kaflannery@juno.com

Anonymous said...

I would love to receive this book to make crafts for Operation Christmas Child! We love packing our boxes for Christmas. Now is a great time to start thinking of gifts!
Terri S WI
ponyxpress9 at yahoo dot com

Amy said...

My husband has travelled to Liberia, Africa and helped with the start up of www.esthershope.com . We send monthly support and we have sent them a number of boxes and would love to be able to fill it with some special homemade gifts. It is amazing to see a group of young children in such need but SO thankful and hopeful for God to meet their needs. They are really a special group of children. I would love to get my imagination going on how I could bless them with the ideas in the book. God bless, Amy brian amy 10 at hotmail dot com

Lisa Webster said...

This would be so fun to win and use with the ladies in our church.

Lisa
lmw@friendlycity.net

Jon and Sarah said...

I love crafting as well and would love to win a copy of this book! I have never done Operation Christmas Child, but this year might be our first. It sounds like such a wonderful thing.

The Karnes said...

What a wonderful idea. I would love to include in our OCC box something special I made myself.

Michelle said...

My family also fills boxes for Operation Christmas Child and I would love to get the kids involved in creating gifts to add to the box. Looks like a great book! Thanks for the inspiring post!!
mregen52(at)twcny(dot)rr(dot)com

Melissa said...

I've been thinking recently about doing crafts for others instead of doing a bunch of things for myself and cluttering my home. I'm looking forward to doing the shoeboxes this year but never even thought of making something to put in there. Now I am even more excited!

Cheryl said...

Hi Monica,
I have actually thumbed through the book at Barnes and Noble and you are right, it is beautifully done.
We have been filling shoe boxes up for operation Christmas Child since our children were toddlers. They are now in high school and college and we just recently picked up two boxes to fill.
I like making handmade things for the sheer joy of giving. One organization I would like to get involved in is making blankets/quilts for Christian Appalachian Project.

Grace said...

Well you know me, and wanting to sew but my kids not wanting what I sew, so (LOL) I think this a great way to get the re leave that urge to sew. and I also think the OCC is a great org. to do this for.

Mrs. K said...

This is so very timely! I am, just today, going through all of my craft supplies and I decided that whatever I couldn't make into Christmas gifts was going to go to Goodwill. I love to make crafts and have all sorts of ideas but this stuff is taking over my life and I don't ever know what to do with the completed crafts.

Jolene said...

We are missionaries in Ukraine and work with orphans, widows/widowers, and deaf on a regular basis. So, it would be very easy to find someone who needs some extra love to make a craft for!

April said...

I've been crocheting hats for the preemies @ a nearby Children's Hospital since my daugter was a recipient of a lovely hat when she was in the NICU. Crochet is my only real forte, but I'd love to hone my sewing skills enoug to make some simple pillowcase dresses for Real Hope for Haiti. Here's a link to other simple projects that really do benefit the "least of these".

Cherie said...

Hi Monica,

I'm currently sewing zippered-pencil pouches for 400 children in Uganda. I would love to win a copy of this book.

Cherie

Lee said...

This looks like so much fun. I love doing Operation Christmas Child with the kids. They are young, but so get it. Great book idea.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

Ooooh, I've had this book in my Amazon wish list for a while! This idea of crafting for others really appeals to me.

familyofgirls said...

Thanks for the reminder I had forgotten it was that time of year again. Thanks also for the inspiration to add something homemade. I think I might make a start on somet goodies to add to ours today :) God Bless

Chrissy said...

I love to help children! I have recently began to crochet baby blankets for our local crisis pregnancy center.
Crystal in Pahrump

Elaine said...

I have already made a lovely skirt 'that goes out' as my daughter used to say, for an older girl for Operation Christmas Child. I'll also be adding a T-shirt. I have a matching headband ready to sew along a small drawstring bag to hold some necessities. I just wanted to include something of myself this year.
Elaine

Shannon Miller said...

What a wonderful idea! We do the OCC shoeboxes every Christmas too - this is a good time to get started on them...I always wait to late. I'd love to win the book!

Jo Ann said...

This book sounds absolutely wonderful! Thank you for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness...I would LOVE to have a copy of this book in my hands to make some projects with others for others!! What a great idea extending it to Operation Christmas Child!! Good thinking!

Mandy
armiegirl@gmail.com

Lisa said...

We love packing OCC boxes in our house too! I would love to win the book and would use the ideas for the boxes as well as to send great gifts to the girls at a safe-haven orphanage my aunt and uncle started in Belize.

Abbi said...

Last year we did a combination of handmade and purchased items for OCC. This year I hope to do even more handmade items. Last year was our first time to do it and I let each of my four children fill a box for a child of their age and gender. We had a blast doing it. They each made things and selected things to put in it. I will look forward to your posts and would love to win the book too!

Jenelle said...

I've been volunteering for Ronald McDonald House and about to start at a maternity home for women with crisis pregnancies. I'd love a few more crafty ideas to bless the families and women I'm meeting.

Wendy said...

I would like to teach the young ladies in our church how to make a craft and then teach them the importance of sharing.
The small dolls you show would be great for OCC boxes or the children's hospital.
If there are any crafts geared for senior citizens, I would like to make Christmas gifts and spend a day ministering to the needs of this forgotten generation.
The possibilities are endless, there are so many hurting people around us. Making gifts would just give us another outlet to show Christ's love.
Thanks for directing our hearts to others!!!

Michelle said...

Our church also does shoeboxes for children, though I'm not sure it's with the same organization. The doll would make a great gift for a disadvantaged little girl. :)

theshepherdshouse said...

This looks wonderful! It would be a blessing to find craft ideas to do with my 13 year old daughter to share His love!

Blessings on your day!
Sharon

Crystal said...

That sounds like a great book! So far all I've done is the Angel Tree christmas gifts, but I've always wanted to make stuff and donate it to our Faith based crisis pregnancy center. Also, I love the pillowcase ministry mentioned on one of the comments. I'll have to look into that! :-D

thecurryseven said...

It never occurred to me to make things to put in our Operation Christmas Child boxes! What an excellent idea.

thecurryseven (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Hope said...

Monica,

I love your blog and am always blessed and refreshed from your pursuit of wanting to glorify God in your home, crafts, etc. This book looks awesome and I am inspired to give a try at crafting homemade give away-s to Operation Christmas Child too and being an inspiration to my children as well. Blessings, Hope Clark email: (hope clark 74 at g mail dot com)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I would love this book! I love their blog and using our God=given creativity to bless others.

Lindsey

LBrittin@gmail.com

Lisa @ Simply Things Family said...

My children would love this! I am a supporter of Operation Christmas Child. Looks like a great book!

Julie said...

What a wonderful idea! I would love to have handmade things in our shoeboxes this year!

May said...

Wow, Monica, you really know how to make a girl think!
We have been praying for something to do as a family this year to put the focus on thanking God. We do the shoe boxes every year (storing up stuff for them throughout the year), but we wanted to bless and love people closer to home this year too.
One thought was to make cookies and go to a nursing home, police and fire station. It would be neat to add some homemade gifts that would last to the cookies.
Another thought was to go to an orphanage and hand out gifts, but we didn't think we could afford that. But with homemade gifts that might be feasible.
Anyway those were just a couple of the things we are prayerfully considering this year.
May

Anonymous said...

I am with you Monica I would use it to bless the children of OCC...I love and support them all ready....

Cortney said...

I get excited each year to put together a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child. I am from the Charlotte, NC and have gotten to work at the distribution center there. I would love this book!

Tina said...

I love this idea! I'll have to look for this book.

Elise said...

Hey Monica,
I realize I am a little late on this post, but love this concept!! I actually posted on my blog-current post-an idea that God gave me. You'll have to go check it out...
Elise

Gina said...

What a lovely idea and beautiful book! I really want to teach my children to give to others. What a meaningful way to give - to actually craft something yourself instead of just money in an offering basket.

I'm wondering how I could combine this with my involvement with a woman's Bible study at the detention center. You've got me thinking!
Gina

Mary said...

Monica, thanks so very much for all of your wonderful posts, but especially for directing me to this amazing book! My 12 yo daughter and I are looking forward to completing many projects in here for the benefit of others, to cultivate a serving and giving heart!