Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Last year I wrote a blog post about ways to give back a little during the holidays. It was also the first time I had heard about Operation Christmas Child and I made two shoeboxes using a lot of the excess items that I get for free by 'working the deals.'

There is something so rewarding about packing up a shoebox of goodies that you know will directly reach an underprivileged child. It doesn't hurt that it is also easy! Many of the items that make a good shoebox are things that you probably purchase frequently and inexpensively (like toothpaste, toothbrushes, candy) or can be purchased easily for little money (dollar store toys, school supplies). This year I'm making more shoeboxes and I wanted to encourage you to do the same!

Here is one box that I am making for a girl ages 5-9 (you can choose boy or girl in the age groups of 2-4, 5-9 & 10-14).

So far I've included:
  • Toothpaste & a toothbrush
  • A coloring book and pack of crayons
  • A small wooden game
  • A pair of sunglasses
  • Barettes
  • The ubiquitous Johnson's Buddies soap (click the link there if you don't know why they are so popular; you can almost always get them for free!)
  • A baggie of lollipops
  • A pair of flip-flops
The hygiene items are deal items, the toys I've purchased at dollar or similar stores and the lollipops I bought in bulk for Halloween and have divvied out into plastic baggies for my shoeboxes. You can't include any liquids or chocolate for the purpose of melting/leakage, but even with the soap or hard candy you should put them in a baggie just to be safe. Last year I heard another blogger mention including a pair of flip-flops and I thought that was a great idea, and I was excited to pick up 3 pairs for $1 from an Odd-Lot store!

I am going to pick up a couple more things that I can put in all of my boxes (like a pack of washcloths & combs that I can put one in each box) & some age specific toys like a doll, etc. but I just wanted to show you some ideas. For instructions on how to pack a shoebox, click here. The national collection week is November 16-23 and boxes can be dropped off at participating churches who will ship them all in!

If you want to learn more about Operation Christmas Child and its parent organization Samaritan's Purse, click here. It is a wonderful Christian organization that will also include a Gospel message with each shoebox!

And if you are thinking of participating and have your own blog, then visit Real Life Blog and link a post up with Sarah's carnival to enter for some great prizes! And even if you don't blog, but want to read some other posts about OCC, then click here!


JennyMac said...

LOVE this cause and have done work with Samaritan's purse before. Am going to check it out further because we are looking at service projects for our family to do this season. Thanks for sharing.

Robin Shreeves said...

When my boys bring home goodie bags from birthday parties, I check to see if there are little toys in them that can go into our stash for the Operation Christmas child boxes. The boys are happy to give up yet another super ball or small deck of cards because they understand where they end up.

Operation Christmas Child is such a fabulous program.