How to pack a Shoebox
The deadline is coming up to enter for a chance to hand deliver your shoebox with me in the Dominican Republic! Click here to get details on how to enter and be sure your entry is in by November 2nd!
Don’t forget, National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes ix November 12-19, 2012! This is a short video I made showing how I packed my shoeboxes this year, followed by a photograph of my shoebox contents. It’s so easy to pack a shoebox! Please watch this video and read below for more helpful information to get you started.
1. Personal Hygiene Items – I’ve included a toothbrush and toothpaste that I got for $1 for the set at Dollar Tree. Hotel soaps from my friends who travel, a washcloth that came in a package of 18, and a brush and comb (also from Dollar Tree).
2. School Supplies – I’ve included a set of colored pencils (Dollar Tree), two #2 Pencils, a pencil sharpener, a small notebook (came in a package of three for $2.00), and a small ruler (free from our state tourism board).
3. Fun gifts just for the child: Scarf (Mama made these from fleece yardage she got on sale, no sewing needed), Polly Pocket doll in car (Clearance this past summer for $2.00), tiny teddy bear (Clearance for fifty cents), hard candy (Double bagged in quart sized freezer bags, even these bags are useful so I always tuck a few more down into the bottom), two plastic cups and a spoon.
4. Plastic Shoebox – please note that this is NOT necessary, it is just an added bonus. A cardboard shoebox will do just fine. However, if you can afford to get a plastic one (I got mine at Dollar General for $1 each), the kids really do enjoy them. Plastic shoeboxes can be used to carry water, hold food, or as a special keepsake box for children’s personal treasures. Marlene brought up a genuine concern in the comments about shoeboxes cracking. I’m sure this does happen from time to time but we gave out over 1000 on our trip to Ecuador and I never personally saw a cracked one. So fortunately, this is rare.
This is all it takes to pack a full shoebox but these items are just what I chose. The options for your shoebox are limitless. No matter how you pack it, be sure to add in a photograph of your family and a personal note to the child!
I’m often asked “Why doesn’t OCC give shoeboxes to children in our country?” The answer is that they absolutely do! Operation Christmas Child doesn’t put qualifiers on helping children and we shouldn’t either. If you feel called to help a child and you are able, never put a qualifier on it: They don’t live in my country, they don’t talk like I do, they don’t look like I do, they aren’t educated like I am, they don’t have the same faith I do, etc. You know what? Jesus didn’t talk like we do, look like we do, live in the same country we do. He didn’t look like us and he wasn’t educated like we are – and He could have said the same thing of us but He chose to give freely instead. If you can help a child and feel led to, don’t put qualifiers on it, just do it.
Some shoeboxes already packed by Southern Plate Family members this year:
Paige used Operation Christmas Child as an opportunity to teach her children about the spirit of giving and helping others. So many parents do this and you’re giving lifelong gifts to both your children and the children who receive the boxes!
Meredith also got her precious daughter involved in packing their shoebox!
For full guidelines on how to pack a shoebox, please visit Operation Christmas Child by clicking here.