For several years now we have packed shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child. Their mission is to “demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world” by packing a shoebox full of items for a child in need. You’ll be surprised at the blessing this can will have on you, your child, and the child receiving the box!
This year our Keepers at Home group will be participating in a group packing party! And I’m inviting you to join in on the giving and have your own packing party!
1. Order a a party packing kit from OCC.
Samaritan’s Purse has put together some great resources and promotional materials to help you share Christ’s love with others through their Shoe Box Ministry! They shipped me a bunch of boy/girl labels, pre-printed sheets for each girl to fill out with information on where they live, what they like, etc. And also some fun bookmarks and stickers for each girl.
2. Get your OCC packing boxes.
You can pick up free OCC packing boxes at your local Family Christian Bookstore, or gather clear plastic shoeboxes. While we’re using the cardboard boxes they hand out this year, I typically use the plastic clear shoeboxes when we do it with just our own personal family. The plastic boxes fit a little more, and also come in handy for the children who receive them!
3. Send out an invitation to the guests!
NATIONAL COLLECTION WEEK: NOVEMBER 12-19, 2012, so make sure to plan your party ahead of time! Also tell guests what to bring, and what you will be supplying if anything.
4. Gather Supplies:
We’ve already started to gather our supplies! We will be supplying basic hygiene and necessary basics, then the girls will all meet up at the local Dollar Store to pick some fun gifts to add in the boxes for a personal touch! There is a list on the OCC website that tells you what you can and cannot pack in the boxes. I strongly suggest sending this list out to your guests prior to the party! Click here to find full pdf packing instructions. Make sure to include a donation of $7/box for shipping costs.
Here are some ideas to help you out!
- Toys: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-hos jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch, toys that light up or mke noise (with extra batteries), Slinkys, etc.
- School Supplies: Pens, pencils, sharpeners, crayons/markers, stamps, ink pads, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
- Hygiene Items: Toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.
- Other: Hard candy, lollipops (Please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toys jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), shoes, slippers, cards.
- A Personal Note: you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family, as well as your name and address if you would like the child to write you back.
- DO NOT 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 of vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.
Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. Operation Christmas Child touches the lives of many children each year, and the impact of this outreach is amazing!
6. Drop-off Your Boxes!
For locations and hours of collection visit the Drop-Off Locations page where you can find the nearest place to take your shoe box or you can call 1-800-353-5949.
You can also send your shoe box gift to:
Operation Christmas Child
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607
Follow your gift: If you make your gift donation online (to cover shipping costs), you can print out a special label and track the gift! Find instructions here.
Check out this video to see how Operation Christmas Child impacts the recipients!
Here are some more helpful links to help you get started giving!
- Order OCC Resources and supplies for your party.
- Find fun craft ideas for shoe box gifts on our Pinterest page.
- Make your $7 donation online to follow your box and learn the destination country for your shoe box gift.
- National Collection Week is November 12-19. Click here to find a drop-off location near you.
Attention Bloggers: Please join in and help spread the word about this amazing organization by blogging about your Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts and linking up your post(s) below!
Disclosure: As a member of the iHomeschool Network’s Samaritan’s Purse Blogger Team, I write about the ministry on a volunteer basis. All posts are my own thoughts and do not necessarily reflect the views of Samaritan’s Purse. I am not on employee, agent, or contractor of Samaritan’s Purse.