Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Operation Christmas Child - How to Build a Shoebox!

OK, I know I'm not the first person to blog about Operation Christmas Child, or to talk about how to find stuff for a shoebox, or how to pack it, or ..... you get the idea.

But darn it, it's a GREAT ministry for individuals (and churches) so I wanted both of my regular readers to know all about it!

I shop mostly at WalMart and Dollar General (DG has some amazingly inexpensive toys and clothing, too!)  *IF* you start a few weeks before Collection Week, you'll be able to find plastic shoeboxes at WalMart for less than a buck.  (I waited too late last year, and ended up having to spend more because they were completely out of the cheap shoebox sized boxes!)

Like this:
A lot of folks will take fun wrapping paper and line the box (or wrap the outside).  But instead, I take a bandanna and use that as a liner.  It's fun AND useful!
Then I go on my shopping spree.  I try really hard not to spend more than $15 a box (not counting the $7 donation for shipping - more about that later).  And you know what?  You can totally stuff a shoebox for that, or even less!
This is my box for a 5-9 year old boy.  Bandanna, socks and underwear. Crayons and pencils (with a sharpener and eraser) and a notebook.  Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, washcloth.  Fun stuff like playdoh, a ball, a car, a top, a puzzle, a stuffed critter, and a glow stick.  I put the soap and toothpaste into a plastic zippie bag.

So inexpensive!  Here's a breakdown (some of these were purchased in a pack which I then broke apart; the prices are for the individual item:
  • puzzle - $1
  • stuffed bear - $1
  • glow stick - .50
  • playdoh - .25
  • pencils - .50
  • car - .75
  • underwear - $1
  • socks - .75
  • bandanna - .50
  • shoebox. .97
  • scissors - $1.10
  • toothbrush - .75
  • toothpaste $1
  • soap - .50
  • washcloth - .50
  • notepad - .75
Oh... and the most important part.  A bag of hard candy and gum!
OCC has a great list of suggested items, along with some guidelines.  PAY ATTENTION to those.  No liquids at all.  No war items.  No used items.  No food other than hard candy and gum.

Then break out your best Tetris mojo and start packing.  It can be a challenge, but if you've shopped wisely it will all fit.
When you've got your packing done, go to the OCC webpage to donate for shipping and print out your labels.
If you do this online you can print out a label with a BARCODE!  They'll email you and tell you where your box is going!  How cool is that??!?!

You can also add a family picture or a note with your address.  Sometimes the children will send you a note in return.  That is also WAY cool.

Finally, take your stack of shoeboxes
 to the nearest collection center during National Collection Week, November 18-25. 


1 comment:

roger smith said...

A wonderful Christian witness, I will mention this to the Big Brother administration. My Little Raven(10) receives almost nothing from his family but would feel good giving to those even less fortunate than he.God Bless you, Susanna.