Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Ideas and Tips
November 15, 2011
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Since this is National Collection week for Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoe boxes, I thought I’d share a few ideas and tips for packing shoe boxes which will be delivered to needy kids all over the world:
- Look at the list provided on the OCC website for ideas of what to include and what NOT to include: Click here to see how to Pack a Shoe Box. Toys and candy are a must, in my opinion, but don’t forget a toothbrush and some soap too! You shouldn’t put things that can melt or leak in there and please skip weapons/war – related toys (so many of the kids are from war-torn countries).
- If you’re filling more than one box, look for packs of toys, school supplies, stickers, candy, etc. to split up between boxes – this can stretch your shoe box money a little further and helps make room for more variety in each box. Party sections of stores usually sell inexpensive favors in sets which could be divided between several boxes.
- When possible, remove items from their packages to make room for more things! Of course, you will want to keep things like candy, toothbrushes, and toys with small parts in the original packaging :).
- You will need to pay $7 to cover the shipping cost for your box, and the COOLEST way to to do this is to pay online and print out the special label to put on your box so you can track where it ends up! Our boxes from last year ended up in India, and we got an email with a photo gallery of kids opening their boxes, plus information about the location and specific prayer requests.
- Don’t forget to include a photo and note – if you include your address, you might even get a letter back!
- Last but not least, PRAY for the child(ren) who will receive your shoe boxes along with the good news about Jesus!
I like to shop in dollar stores and the dollar spot at Target to find lots of great deals, but I recently discovered that lots of people actually shop the whole year through – taking advantage of sales, holiday clearance, and free samples to build up a stockpile for multiple shoe boxes. I am TOTALLY doing this from now on! I actually did take advantage of a Halloween clearance sale to get a HUGE bag of Tootsie Roll candies at a super cheap price last week. These were great because they don’t melt, there were lots of different types and they didn’t have any Halloween pictures on them. Once I filled our two boxes, I just topped each one off with a big ziplock bag of candy :)!
Anyway, here are some great blogs with tons of tips about saving money while shopping for OCC shoe box gifts: