A Front Row Seat to Watch God Build His Kingdom

January 5, 2017 • United States
Operation Christmas Child year-round volunteers
Some of the last shoeboxes to come in to this Knoxville drop-off location during National Collection Week reflect the joy of volunteers (left to right) Vicki Humphreys, Renee Weber, and Lori Davidson.

A Tennessee woman leads other volunteers in promoting our Operation Christmas Child project.

Vicki Humphreys of Knoxville, Tennessee, has been packing shoebox gifts for 20 years. For 10 of those years, she has served as a year-round volunteer with Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child year-round volunteers

Area coordinator Vicki Humphreys displayed her Operation Christmas Child spirit by sharing the photo with friends.

“I started as a mom wanting to teach my kids how to give and have compassion,” Vicki said.

She liked it so well she wanted to become the project leader for her church—coordinating the congregation’s shoebox collection. For two years she put it off, though, because she feared the public speaking that would be required with the role.  Eventually, she tried it and found that talking in front of people wasn’t as hard as she thought.

“When I took the boxes to the [drop-off location], I would be really sad that it was over,” Vicki said.

So she began a seven-year stint serving year-round as a community relations coordinator.

Three years ago, she became the area coordinator of the Knoxville Area Team—covering Knox County and 13 surrounding counties.

“My main responsibility is to build and lead a team of year-round volunteers,” Vicki said.

With a team of 59 members, she primarily pours into her coordinators covering prayer mobilization, church relations, community relations, and logistics. Although her job description suggests she spend 10 to 15 hours per week on her role, Vicki spends 20 to 30 hours because of the size of her area.

Operation Christmas Child year-round volunteers

Vicki pauses at the Boone Processing Center to enjoy one of the shoebox filler items.

“I love the organizational part of it,” Vicki said. “I love the relational side of it. I love being a resource person for those on my team.”

Being Part of a Movement

Her priority for her service with Operation Christmas Child is the children who receive shoebox gifts.

“I really want to make a difference in their lives,” Vicki said. “It helps me be a global citizen.”

When she’s not serving the Lord through this Samaritan’s Purse project, Vicki works part time in client services and marketing for a financial planner. She knows her experience in event planning with Operation Christmas Child helped her get the job.

Vicki gives glory to God for the opportunity to serve.

“Being able to be part of a movement that He is leading is very special,” she said. “Being in this role has been an invitation from God to have a front row seat to watch Him build His Kingdom through Operation Christmas Child.”

“It helps me be a global citizen.”

To those who have never packed a shoebox gift for a boy or girl in need around the world, Vicki said, “Don’t pass up the opportunity because it opens your heart. No matter what age you are, when you pack a shoebox, you put in things you love. When you turn around and give it away, it’s a great heart experience whether you’re 8 or 80.”

She also recommends taking a step further and volunteering year-round.

“If [God] is asking you to be a part of this, He’ll reveal Himself to you through the experience. I recommend it highly. It’s a unique opportunity. I’m so grateful for the years the Lord’s allowed me to be a part of it.”

View roles available as a year-round volunteer for Operation Christmas Child.