Sunday, January 31, 2016

PARAGUAY! (When I grow up I'm going to deliver shoeboxes!)

When I was Children's Pastor I told the kids in my children's ministry "When I grow up, I'm going to deliver shoeboxes! This June I am going to be given a chance to do just that!

Please read below for more information about my trip and ways you can partner with me as I prepare to share "The power of a simple gift" with children in Paraguay.



Dear Friends and Family, 
Many years ago my heart was forever changed by a little girl rummaging around a “free bin” at a garage sale. This little girl was my daughter, and she was finding new toys to put into shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child. We had packed shoebox gifts as a family since she was born, but it was always at my prompting, yet at that time something had stirred in her heart to do this all on her own. Since that moment I have known that OCC is something special. If the ministry and message of Operation Christmas Child could stir the heart of my daughter at the tender age of 3 to give to those in need, then imagine what it would do to children on the receiving end of those shoebox gifts!

Since 1993 Operation Christmas Child (OCC) has sent gift filled shoeboxes to kids in need all over the world, along with the good news of God’s love. This year marks our family’s 21st year of packing shoebox gifts for this amazing organization! In 2013 I was approached by Samaritan’s Purse—the parent organization of OCC—to represent the ministry as a year round volunteer. I would be a mouthpiece for the group sharing about the ministry and message of Operation Christmas Child to area churches and community groups, along with encouraging and building up an area team of other volunteers to help with this goal. With the ultimate purpose of packing more shoebox gifts to give more opportunity to share God’s love to kids in need all over the world!

Each year Samaritan’s Purse invites a select group of volunteers to participate in a shoebox distribution to see what happens on “the other side of the box.” Shoebox gifts are distributed in partnership with local churches throughout the world to allow them a tangible way to reach out to their communities. 

This year I have been invited to participate in a trip to Paraguay to help deliver shoebox gifts. The trip will take place from June 1st-8th. In addition to the distribution, and seeing for myself the joy on a child’s face when they receive their shoebox gift, I will get to witness first hand the impact Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan’s Purse has in Paraguay. 

I ask first of all that you would pray for me, the rest of the distribution team, and especially the local church we will be partnering with. Please pray for health for the team, pray for finances, pray for travel issues etc. Please pray also for the distribution, all of the customs issues, logistics etc. that happen during any type of event. Pray most of all for the children receiving these boxes, that God would touch their hearts, that they would feel and know the love shown to them by Him and those who  packed their shoebox gift. 

My cost for this trip is between $3,200 and $4,200. If the Lord would put it on your heart to help cover any of the expenses it would be greatly appreciated, as Samaritan’s Purse is a not-for-profit organization and can only do these trips if expenses are covered. 

If you wish to help with expenses, my local church has set up an account. All donations are tax-deductible. Please make out the check to:


Life Church Morris
P.O. Box 679
Morris, IL 60450

Please write: Paraguay in the memo line.


If you wish to donate online you may do so through my church, the button is below! "Life Church Morris" will be listed on the PayPal receipt




Please provide your address if you wish to receive a tax letter at the end of the year.

Thank you so much for your support! I appreciate the prayers of my friends as I prepare to share the good news and great joy through Operation Christmas Child in Paraguay.  Upon my return I look forward to sharing my adventures with you! 


Because Jesus Loves Children!

Betsy Burnett
#CrazyShoeboxLady

Thursday, December 24, 2015

All that Glitters!

For the past couple of years I have been collecting old jewelry. Pieces from thrift stores and garage sales, antique stores and things given to me by family, have all found their way into my collection. The goal of the collection was to make a wall hanging out of the jewelry.

This project has been sitting in bits and pieces on my desk for about 2 years, and since I had some extra time the last few days so I  decided to finish it and just in time for Christmas!

After cleaning the pieces, I removed the pin backs and post if necessary, some of the pieces came to broken, so a little E-6000 was used to replace the gems. 

Try to remove pins and backings as close to the piece as possible, this will help the jewelry to adhere flat to the fabric.

Using a piece of black velvet for the background, I outlined a basic shape with masking tape on the velvet. I also used masking tape to secure the fabric to my cutting mat, because the fabric was slippery this just helped keep things in place. After figuring out the basic placement, I used hot glue to attach the jewelry to the fabric. 

Looking at all the pieces is like a game of "i-spy" 


The fabric was then attached to a board. I originally wanted to add lights to the piece, tucking them in from behind, but due to my Facebook opinion poll, decided against it. (26 to 11 in favor of no lights and three suggestions of gallery lights and one vote for a disco ball from my daughter. )  After the fabric was attached I used glazier points from MD Hobby and Craft to secure the wood into the frame. 

Insert the points parallel to the piece using a flathead screwdriver to wiggle into place, if you are having trouble a slight tap with the hammer helps. 
Because of the weight of not only the jewelry but the wood I attached the fabric too, I didn't want the frame to carry all the weight, so I attached a simple wood support frame to the decorative frame. 

You can see the holes originally drilled for lighting.

I love the finished project!


 I do agree it needs light to bounce off the jewelry to give it some added sparkle, but am glad I didn't embed lights as I think it might detract from the beauty of the jewelry itself. I still might add some type of gallery light but probably not the disco ball my daughter had in mind ;)

I pray all of you have a wonderful holiday season, and a very Merry Christmas!!!



Supplies used: Vintage jewelry, Velvet fabric, wood,  E-6000, MD Hobby and Craft Glaizer Points, Screwdriver, Hammer, Drill, Screws, AdTech multi temp glue gun, pliers, cutters, button shank remover







Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bottle cap earrings!

At a recent party, friends served several styles of craft sodas. These sodas (and some beers) had fun names and cute bottle caps that I couldn't let go to waste! So I did what any crafter would do! I saved the caps.

This is what I did with them.

Washing them to remove the soda/beer residue,  I then used my trusty, We R Memory Keepers, Crop-a-dial to punch holes. I threaded small glass beads, onto head pins and added the bottle caps to the head pins. Topping with more beads and finishing with earring wires and I had a cute pair of up-cycled earrings!






As you can tell the Capt'n Eli's soda was popular ;) I loved the way they turned out and will make great gifts for my daughters and their friends! 


Monday, December 7, 2015

Treasures to (and from ) afar!

I am privileged to have friends with big hearts! Their hearts not only have a deep love for the Lord, but a love for others. Because of this, many of my friends find themselves traveling to other parts to share this love with others.

Our church recently planned a trip to Guatemala the plan for the trip was to start building a house and a stove for a family in need as well as host a medical clinic.  The trip came during the busiest season for me for shoeboxes meaning I would be unable to go, that didn't stop me from helping my friends get there. 

The big fund raiser for the team was a pig roast. There was good food, and games and other ways to fund raise. I worked my specialty in "Basket Raffles." 

Having been on short term trips before and having many friends that serve long term as missionaries. I know the importance of feeling connected and supported by people back home.

I had been given work gloves to donated to the team and wanted to do something special with them. People that came out to the fundraiser to support the team were given the opportunity to "share in the work" and sign the gloves for the team. 








The team loved the gesture, and used the gloves during construction and then left them with the local church they were working with in Guatemala.


Imagine my surprise though when one of the team members (and a dear friend of mine)  brought me back a couple of handmade treasures from the trip. She knew both my love of things handmade and my heart for journaling and brought back the perfect gifts.

I loved the beaded hummingbird, the attention to detail was amazing, from the beak to the star shaped eye!  To give you and idea of size, it was made entirely out of seed beads! Could you imagine the time it took to make this?

The brightly colored journal was wonderful. It's actually more of a "cover" for a smaller journal. Meaning once I use it up, I can take out the notebook inside and replace it.


Monday, November 30, 2015

The things you do for shoeboxes!

Serving as an Area Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, I have the privilege of sharing about the ministry and message of OCC with many groups. I love talking to homeschool groups because well, I am a homeschooler and they have a tendency to think a bit out of the norm when it comes to motivation.

The Cornerstone Christian Homeschool Cooperative invited me to share about shoeboxes. Their group had a goal of packing 100 shoebox gifts. Knowing that I am also the #CrazyShoeboxLady I do some pretty crazy things to encourage people to pack shoeboxes. This year was a first for me!
I agreed if the group packed 200 shoeboxes I would let a student put a pie in my face! They not only met that goal they blew it out of the water with 260 shoebox gifts packed!! So being true to my word I received a wonderful whipping cream "facial" as a result!


To see the full video Click here!  The things you do for shoeboxes!


The things you do for shoeboxes!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thank you Jack Dempsey!

One of the reasons I am so passionate about Operation Christmas Child is the fact a simple filled shoebox can bring so much hope to a child in need. The group I coordinate called Shoebox 1K  attempts to pack 1000 shoebox gifts each year. We normally pack more but 1000 is the goal. In poorer societies, older children are normally already forced to help bring home money for the family, school sometimes getting cut short. Girls especially can be overlooked. 

This is why one of the things we love doing is packing sewing kits into our older girls boxes! We coordinate our kits by hand, using donated supplies and materials to make sure each girl gets an assortment of items useful to her in sewing. In addition we try to include a project to teach simple stitches, as well as some fabric for her to work with. 

When talking to Jack Dempsey Needle Arts about our project, they were touched, they volunteered to donate sampler fabric and the directions for 500 sewing kits! 

Each sewing kit not only gives a girl a chance to have some necessary and needed supplies at home, but because we try to include picture directions, it could give a girl a chance to learn some life skills to help her when she gets older! 

One of our 500 boxes for the 10-14 year old girls, complete with sewing kit!
It took our volunteers many, many, many hours this summer, to sort through donated fabric, cut it into usable pieces, sort out embroidery floss and thread, purchase scissors, and then collate the 500 plus bags to be packed. But in the end it was so worth it!  

A big thank you to our volunteers but especially to Jack Dempsey Needle Arts for their generous donation!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cover Story!

How cool is this?

What a fabulous thing to wake up to! Finding out that the project you have been working on all year was the cover for the weekend news! The article covered 3 pages on the inside and had a wonderful feature on the Girl Scout troops that created dolls to put into boxes! 
To read the entire article visit Morris Herald News