OCC Packing Party 2016

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We completed the OCC packing party and it was AMAZING!!!IMG_0214

In just over 2 hours, we packed 2,141 shoebox gifts packed for Operation Christmas Child. A HUGE thank you to every person who brought in donations, helped fold and label boxes, organized items, prepared food, helped with music, filled shoeboxes, packed cartons, and prayed! We were amazed at how quickly we were able to work together to pack these gifts!

Please check out our Facebook page for pictures of this event! For those who came out, we hope you had a great time today and appreciate all of your help!


Week 2: Countdown to Packing Party

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It’s been another long, full week here at FLAC! Whew! We have been counting donated items as they are coming in and folding boxes to get a head start, while at the same time managing shipments and developing a core team. We are down to just one week until our packing party and we are so incredibly excited. Here’s what our week looked like:

Sunday, October 30: We built a diagram of what we thought we wanted the set up to look like at the packing party. We figured we would need 10 tables and packed a shoebox from beginning to end to figure out the order of items to pack the box most efficiently. Big items on bottom to smaller items on top. We also created a running To Do and a Need List to help us keep track of everything. This week we still need to:

  • Order toothpaste – we got a phenomenal deal with Hotel Supplies Online
  • Fold shoeboxes
  • Assemble cartons
  • Box soap – we purchased individual soap containers for all the soap
  • Fold hundreds of T-Shirts
  • Create a slideshow, pick out videos from Samaritan’s Purse, and Christmas movies for the Packing Party

uniformSunday also brought an incredible donation. A local Soccer Club donated 4 huge bins plus 2 plastic bags filled with soccer uniform items, all brand new and most of them still in their plastic wrapping. I so wish I could be there to see the looks on the kid’s faces when they open these boxes. A gorgeous soccer uniform? They are going to squeal. Such an incredible WOW item for these kids.

Monday, October 31: We met with our Pastors and core team to explain the process of the packing party. We set up the room of what we thought the assembly line should look like and came up with a plan. We ended up rearranging our items on a few tables due to storage issues. Since we are having a church service in the same area before our packing party, we have to be creative with the space we have available.

We also were not able to fit the 10 tables in the way we had hoped, so we did have to reconfigure that. This is the exact reason we do a mock run beforehand so that we can work out all these kinks early. Check out this link to see what each of our tables look like and the deals we found on many of the items we purchased.

In our meeting, we began to set up a core team of people to help us throughout the day. We needed:

  • A Transition Team to help move chairs, tables, and supplies.
  • An Audio/Visual Team to help us keep a running video going. We want people to have fun at the Party and not just feel like they are being put to work. So, we will have a slideshow giving information about Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child. We will also play videos from Samaritan’s Purse and have a Christmas movie or two snuck in there! I mean, we’ve got to have Merry Larry!
  • Hospitality Team to help provide and restock refreshments. We anticipate this will be a good 6-8 hour project and people will need to have a place to take a break.
  • Logistics Team to help unpack the cartons of empty shoeboxes and pack the cartons with filled shoeboxes.
  • Prayer Team to cover the whole event in prayer, while at the same time praying for the kids who will receive these shoebox gifts.
  • Kid’s Team to help occupy the littles who may get bored after the first hour. We will plan to have Christmas movies, snacks, cookie decorating, and games planned for them to also be able to have an outlet of their wiggle energy.
  • Floating Team to help keep everything running smoothly. We felt it was important that the Pastors, along with my husband and I did not have a specific job to do on Packing Day so that we could help where needed, answer questions, and be available to put out fires.

Along with a fantastic planning meeting, we also counted and folded all of the soccer jerseys that were donated. The Cahaba Springs Soccer Club donated 702 clothing items. What an incredible gift. Again, I wish I could be there to see the excitement on the kid’s faces, as these shoeboxes will be going to countries where “soccer” is so popular.

Tuesday, November 1: We are continuing to assemble our Core Team for the Packing Party and continuing to fold shoeboxes. Today, we also decided to pack a few shoeboxes. We realized that we had some unusually sized items that would fit in a shoebox, but may not work really well on the assembly line. We also found that we had about 40 soccer uniforms that were for much smaller kids than we were planning to pack for. Our goal has been to pack boxes for the 10-14 year old range, but these uniforms would fit the 5-9 age range.

Filling these shoeboxes became two-fold, as we were trying to figure out how to get 23 shoeboxes into the cartons. I’ve seen them fit, but I just could not get it to work. I finally pulled up a diagram on The Google and still had a difficult time making it work. I finally got it, but I still think I am missing something, as it was not an easy fit. I’ll need to figure that out for the Logistics Team.

We’ve still got so much to do… but, we are SO excited!!


Toys R Us Shopping Spree

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Nearly FOUR hours after we arrived at Toys R Us – we COMPLETED our shopping spree. Here are just a few pictures for now and we will post tomorrow about our experience.

With this shopping spree, we were able to purchase 636 MORE TOYS, blowing through Jordyn’s goal of collecting 2,000 toys with a new total of 2,154 toys for the children at St. Jude!

THANK YOU Toys R Us employees for being so kind, thoughtful, and patient with us!! You absolutely went above and beyond to make this a GREAT experience for our kids!!

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Find more pics of the shopping spree to benefit St. Jude here on Facebook!!


Goal Met: Mind Blown

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DSC_0335If I could have taken a 5 second video clip of my absolute favorite moment from last week, it would have been Jordyn running off the stage after a HUGE announcement and jumping into the arms of her friend Ken Davis!

Let me back up…

Todd and I have wanted to attend the Launch Conference for a long time now. We knew this conference would give us the tools we needed to properly structure and merge our two family ministries. Even before what happened on that very last day, we were overwhelmed with information and excited about all the possibilities of how to maximize what we do!

Many of you know Ken Davis has been an encourager for Jordyn and her Love Projects from the very beginning of FLAC. When Jordyn, at 6 years old, decided to send Jenna and her family to Disney World, Ken jumped on board and helped us get the word out. He also donated his books, videos, CD’s, and time being a sounding board for Todd and I as we struggled with putting her out in the world. He believed in our little girl, what she was doing, and encouraged us to let God work through her.

DSC_03342 years later, Jordyn has stayed friends with Ken. She has written him letters, has had a couple of meals with him, been to Disney World with him and his family, mimicked his magic tricks (like making her donut disappear), and absolutely adores him. She loves being around him. I think it’s because he is a rare kind of person who exudes the joy of Jesus. Who doesn’t want to be around someone like that??

So, when Todd and I told Jordyn we were going to see Mr. Ken at the Launch Conference, she got very excited and asked if she could see him too. We arranged breakfast and when Ken asked about her new adventures she told him what she was up to. As she shared her goal of collecting 2,000 toys for St. Jude a desire stirred within him to help her once again. Jordyn didn’t ask him for help, but he felt the Spirit of God to encourage the heart of our little girl. There is something so powerful when other adults invest in your children. It is a precious, precious gift.

Not only did Ken reach into his wallet to give her money to buy more toys, but the gears in his head began to turn and an idea was formulating. Later that night, he asked Todd and I if we were okay if he interviewed Jordyn on the last day of the conference. But, until that morning, we had no idea what he was going to do.

The morning came and I found myself a little nauseated. While I completely trust Ken, it is scary not knowing what will come out of the mouth of an 8 year old child, on stage… in front of people… LIVE… when I have absolutely no control… yes, I am still learning through this.

DSC_0338 DSC_0340Ken showed the clip from Alabama’s 13 where our local NBC station aired her story of collecting toys for St. Jude and then he brought her up on stage. I was already getting teary-eyed by this point watching her run up on stage, as the crowd stood and clapped for her. She sat down and the interview was on. Ken shared a little more information about FLAC, the Love Projects, and asked Jordyn a few questions. The interview went great and then Ken shared that we were still in need of about 500 toys. What came next totally and completely overwhelmed Todd and I – in fact, rendered us speechless. Ken encouraged the Launch Conference attendees to feel what he felt when he gave Jordyn the money to purchase more toys, and shared the Launch staff’s goal of raising $5,000 that morning so Jordyn could finish her goal.

DSC_0358 DSC_0357As the Speakers did their final Q & A of the Conference, the attendees gave SO generously. As soon as the Q & A was done, Joy Groblebe of The Frontline Group brought Jordyn back on stage and announced our new friends had given $5,078 to Faith Like A Child so Jordyn could purchase the rest of the toys she needed to bring to St. Jude.

We were TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY!!

Jordyn seemed overwhelmed to hear the news as well, thanked everyone for their support, and jumped off the stage. She ran right passed us with the biggest smile on her face and jumped into Ken’s arms!! What a beautiful moment.

Once again friends from Launch. THANK YOU!! Thank you for allowing us to share our story throughout the week. Thank you for listening. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for being a part of Jordyn’s story. Thank you for your generous hearts to give in such an overwhelming way. Thank you for believing in what Jordyn is doing. Many of you didn’t know this, but leading into this conference, Todd and I felt a bit unsure of what God has been calling us to do. We know where our passion is, but currently have some limitations we have struggled to balance. The gift you gave Faith Like A Child goes way beyond the children at St. Jude’s. Your gift was the final stamp we needed to stop allowing our limitations to distract us from our passions. Your gift encouraged us to the depth of who we are and ignited an even deeper passion to reach more people with our story and with this ministry.

Our challenge to you friends is to look around you and find the needs. They are both big and small. It may be giving a cold cup of water to a homeless person. It may be stopping by an elderly home to visit someone who is lonely. It may be making a donation to a ministry you are passionate about. Whatever comes to mind right now as you read this blog, do what Ken and so many people at the conference did last week – TAKE ACTION!

We’d love to hear YOUR story and would love for you to come join us on Facebook! There will be a HUGE shopping spree this week and additional excitement as we deliver the toys to St. Jude. We cannot WAIT to post pictures and share what only GOD has done through the hands and feet of so many people!



Hasbro and Carnival Cruise Line

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Last week, our family took a much-needed vacation with the Carnival Cruise line (add low season prices with Christmas gifting = HIGHLY recommend). We had so much fun, and enjoyed our time relaxing, eating too much melting chocolate cake and strawberries, and getting to know other people on board.

The highlight of the cruise for Jordyn, however was Hasbro The Game Show.

Have you ever seen Family Game Night on TV? Hasbro and Carnival got together and now offer this awesome Game Show on their ship! Jordyn absolutely LOVES the TV show (and has been asking to try out for at least a year now). We even DVR all the episodes, THAT is how much she loves it. We loved choosing teams to root for before they revamped the show, and now, we love cheering on everyone who gets chosen to go on stage. Of course, we all secretly have our favorite, and try to guess the color combination to open up the treasure chest. So, when I found out this cruise had a version of this show, it sealed the deal for us.

As soon as the curtains came up and Jordyn saw what we were doing, she was overcome with intense excitement.

To get on stage, contestant would need to answer trivia questions (AKA Trivial Pursuit), and like any parent would, we fully intended on feeding her the answers. When it came to our side of the audience, Jordyn was a nut. She was jumping up and down ON the seats, over-the-top excited!! Brent Mitchell was the Cruise Director for this itinerary and on his second question, he called on Jordyn.

“Where is the Great Barrier Reef located?” he asked her.

Without hesitating, or receiving the answer from us, Jordyn said, “Is it AustralEEEYYAHH?” (Thank you so much Nemo!)

It was absolutely precious, and since she was correct, up to the stage she went.

The teams played a version of Connect Four Basketball, and one of Jordyn’s shots even helped her team win. It was amazing to hear the crowd of (500ish people) behind her screaming and cheering for her.

Since her team won, she was able to choose a cash card. Whoever had the most “money” on their cash card received a bunch of travel games from Hasbro and a $150 Hasbro Gift Card, all donated from Hasbro. Pretty awesome, huh? So, Jordyn chose the “Money Bag”, which I thought was odd for her (I figured she’d choose the airplane because her daddy is a pilot), and found her seat in the winner’s row. Of course, I ran over to her, gave her a big hug, and told her how awesome she is!

When it came time to cash in their cards, Brent began to ask everyone why they chose their card. He told us later, he whispered to Jordyn not to worry about answering the question, when she looked at him and said, “I know why I chose it!” He chuckled and went on to ask her why she chose the money bag. Her response silenced the crowd.

Jordyn said, “Because I wanted to give the money to my friend Jenna. She is 15 years old and has brain cancer!”

Her response literally took my breath away, as my eyes filled with tears.

While Jordyn did not win the big prize, the impact of her words brought many people to do something!

Three other contestants gave her their $20 Hasbro Gift Cards, Brent was so touched by her words, that he gave her a bunch of travel-sized games to raise more money for Jenna, and a super sweet family gave us $55 cash on the spot to help Jenna. We also had multiple families come to us and let us know they’d be praying for Jenna and her family. Out of the mouth of babes…

In addition to this, Brent told the people at Hasbro about Jordyn’s words, and they are sending Jenna and her family a bunch of games so they can enjoy some family time together. How amazing is that?!?

The last night of the cruise, Jordyn decided she wanted to chat with Brent again, and we were able to get together with him after a fun little dance party in the atrium, where she TORE IT UP in her Belle Princess Dress! Jordyn told asked him three things:

1) If she could have more games to raise more money for Jenna (which he gave her without hesitating). She even told him how she wanted to raise money and put the thank you gifts together (see below).

2) If Carnival was working with any Wish-Making organizations, because she wants to continue helping families and she thinks a cruise would be fun for another family. (He is looking into this and planning to get back with us!)

3) If she could meet the Captain of the ship and ask him if there is any work she can do on the boat to raise money for Jenna! (Brent did let her know she is a little too young to work on the cruise line right now!)

So, to honor Hasbro and Carnival who donated a bunch of items to Jordyn, and the contestants who gave up their prizes for Jordyn, we are hoping to do this ONE last fundraiser for Jenna and her family. Jordyn only needs roughly $1700 to FINISH out the fundraising for Jenna’s trip to Disney.

Here’s how this will work:

1) For every $5 someone donates, their name will be placed into one Jenna Jar.

2) There will be FOUR THANK YOU GIFTS available as follows:

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Hasbro/Carnival Game Set #2

 

 

 

 

 

#3/#4: There will be TWO $40 gift cards to Hasbro.com (which are currently still in my husband’s wallet, otherwise I’d take pics of those too!)

3) Strips of paper with the four gift names will be placed into another Jenna Jar. Jordyn will then choose the gift from one jar, and pull the gift recipient from the other jar!

4) Anyone who donates from TODAY, until February 16th will be eligible to receive one of these four thank you gifts!! *As with all of our thank you gifts, FLAC Board Members or family members are not eligible!

Will you help us knock out this fundraising venture for the Spille Family by spreading the word, and/or donating?

To donate, please click on the Paypal Link on the right sidebar, OR you can send a check to: Faith Like A Child, Inc at 3108 N. Boundary Blvd, Bldg 926, PMB 123, Tampa, FL 33621. Thank you so much friends for helping our daughter love another family!

THANK YOU so much to Hasbro, Carnival, friends from the cruise who gave up their prizes, the sweet family who gave Jordyn money for Jenna, and Brent, who has gone way above and beyond to help Jordyn and encourage her heart. We appreciate you all!!


Day 10: Belle

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“Today, I am thankful I got to see Belle at Disney World and give her a hug!”

Three cool things from today:

1) We made our weekly deposit at the bank, and as Jordyn was telling the cashier what she was doing, a lady also making a deposit overheard the conversation and gave Jordyn $10 to be a part of what she is doing. It was so sweet to watch the exchange!!

2) We went to Disney today to hang out as a family. On the monorail ride, Jordyn was talking to a little boy about their favorite holidays. The little boy shared how Christmas was his favorite holiday because he gets presents and can give presents. Very sweetly, Jordyn said, “Christmas is all about Jesus, and that is why it is my favorite holiday!”

3) On the way back to the car, we met two ladies on the tram ride. Right away Jordyn engaged them in conversation, asked Todd to get her business cards out of his wallet, and gave one to each of them. Jordyn then shared who Jenna is and what she is doing for her family. They were so excited  hearing what she’s doing, asked her a bunch of questions, and had a really fun conversation with her. I LOVE when this happens when Todd is around, because I love the way he watches his little girl share her heart, and her passion to help other people.