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Operation Christmas Child #ipackedashoebox

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

This post is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse.

Operation Christmas Child - How to Pack a Shoebox @ AVirtuousWoman.org

When I explained to my girls that we were going to pack a shoebox full of goodies for Operation Christmas Child, they were so excited. Seriously. And I wondered why we haven’t done this in the past! We are so very blessed with so many things and while our family donates to different charities on a frequent basis, we’ve never sent a tangible gift.

They were full of ideas.

[Tweet “Bless a child today. Pack a shoebox for #OperationChristmasChild. Learn more:”]

In fact, when we went shopping for things to put in the box, we ended up buying more than could fit in the shoebox. Perhaps we should pack two!

What is Operation Christmas Child?

Operation Christmas Child uses shoebox gifts filled with toys, hygiene items and school supplies to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. OCC’s National Shoebox Collection is November 16-23, 2015. During this week, you can drop-off your packed shoeboxes at local drop-off sites open across all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Operation Christmas Child - How to Pack a Shoebox @ AVirtuousWoman.org

How to Pack a Shoebox

Step #1: Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately.

Step #2: Decide whether you will pack a box for a GIRL or a BOY, and the age category:

  • Ages 2-4
  • Ages 5-9
  • Ages 10-14

Step #3: Select a quality “wow” toy such as a doll, soccer ball with pump, or stuffed animal. Then add other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.

[Tweet “Learn HOW to Pack a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child: “]

Step #4: Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. You can also include a personal note and photo.

Step #5: Donate $7 online and receive a tracking label to Follow Your Box and discover the destination of your shoebox gift.

Step #6: Take your shoebox gift to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week, November 16-23.

What to Pack in Your Shoebox

After you’ve decided whether you want to pack a box for a boy or girl and the age range, you’ll want to go shopping for some fun goodies to fill the box with.

  • a “WOW” item such as a doll, a deflated soccer ball and ball pump, stuffed animals, an outfit, or shoes.
  • non liquid hygiene items such as toothbrush, comb, brush, wash cloth, bar soap, etc.
  • school supplies like pencils and a pencil sharpener, notebooks, markers, books.
  • accessories such as hair bows, hair ties, socks, watches, flashlights with extra batteries.
  • small toys, gum, candy like gummy bears but not chocolate that will melt.
  • a personal note and a photo of your family  {if you’d like}
  • you can find more ideas here.
  • and OCC’s Pinterest page has lots of ideas!

What Not to Include

Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.

Operation Christmas Child - How to Pack a Shoebox @ AVirtuousWoman.org

More About OCC

  • Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind
  • For many children, the gift-filled shoebox is the first gift they have ever received
  • Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has collected and delivered more than 124 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories through Operation Christmas Child.
  • In 2015, Operation Christmas Child hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 11 million children. More than 500,000 volunteers worldwide, with more than 100,000 of those in the United States, are involved in collecting, shipping and distributing shoebox gifts.

Be sure to follow Operation Christmas Child: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

I am so glad we participated in this amazing project this year. I want to challenge you to do the same! Pack a shoebox for a boy or girl and let me know what you packed in the comments below! If you’d like to be inspired – and maybe shed a joyful tear or two, check out the Shoebox Stories Series – I really loved this one.

Watch the Video

So, here’s a video of our shopping trip and packing the shoebox.

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  1. What a wonderful shoebox! It is filled with many nice things, and I'm sure that little girl who receives it will be so happy. Your girls must have enjoyed shopping. It's so much fun! I am a big OCC fan. Last year, I packed 31 boxes, and this year, I did 26. I sent 2 boxes to "fillers" to the processing center as well. OCC is a ministry that blesses many underprivileged children. I did want to mention something that may be helpful for other shoebox packers. Here in the US, you can include toothpaste in your boxes if you want to. You can also remove packaging from a lot of items to make more room in the box. In many areas, there are no landfills like we have here in the states, so extra "trash" may be a problem. One last thing - it would be better to put the candy in a baggie - double bagged if you send bar soap, which should also be packaged in a baggie. In hot temps and in transit, the candy may melt and damage other items in the box. I haven't meant to be negative; I just wanted to get some info out for anyone who is packing a shoebox for the first time. I'm so glad you did this, and I hope others will as well.
  2. My husband and I did two shoeboxes this year. This is the first year we have done them but it wont be the last!! It was so much fun shopping for the items and knowing it would be a blessing to a child who might not otherwise receive anything for Chistmas. By the way, love your blog! We are practicly neighbors! We live about 45 min south of Knoxville. God bless you and your family!!
    1. Hi Jenny! I agree, packing the shoebox was so much fun and we're anxious to find out who received the box. Plan on making it a part of our Christmas tradition. We spent the whole day in Knoxville yesterday. :) Thanks for stopping by to chat. Love to get to know you better!

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