A Lot of Love in a Little Box: Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child ~ How to Pack a Shoe Box ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Each year we pack up several shoe boxes to donate to Operation Christmas Child. We started this tradition well before Sammy was born, knowing how much these gifts would be appreciated by a child in a developing country. Now as a mother, these shoe boxes have come to mean a whole lot more. They are HOPE. Hope for a child, for his siblings, for his friends, and community. One shoe box isn’t just Christmas gifts for a single child, for a single year. It is LOVE in box that has the potential to spread from one child, to a whole community.

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Christmas in a box

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It’s that time of year again. I’ve posted before about our adventures in shoe box packing for Operation Christmas Child and the fun we’ve had volunteering at the processing centre. I’m not sure if we’ll get a chance to volunteer this year. The dates have come up so quickly. I think I’ll need to put a reminder in my calendar for next year, so I can be more organized in booking a volunteer shift.

Anyway, last year, while we were sorting boxes at the processing centre, I managed to take some notes on unique ideas that people had for filling boxes. You can read our full basic list of things we typically put in the shoe boxes here. The following list is for a few unique additions to consider:

  • picture Bible (ages 2-4 & 5-9)
  • basic tool sets, including multi-head screwdriver, wrenches, compact hammer, nails, & screws (ages 5-9 & 10-14)
  • good quality multi-tool (ages 10-14)
  • mini compact Bible (ages 10-14)
  • feminine hygiene pads (ages 10-14)
  • cooking accessories, including measuring cups & spoons (ages 10-14)… of course, given that kiddos of all ages like to play with kitchen tools, you could probably include these any of the boxes 😉

Happy packing!!

Shoe box fun

Operation Christmas Child ~ How to Pack a Shoe Box ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Last year, hubby and I put together a couple of shoe boxes to donate to Operation Christmas Child. We also had the immense pleasure of volunteering one evening down at the processing center in Calgary. So amazing to see the amount of donations that come in and to think about the number of children this programs reaches around the world! So when it came time to start thinking about filling shoe boxes again this year, we decided that we wanted to do several more. We’re blessed to be expecting our own child and I know that he/she will always have gifts to open at Christmas and birthdays. It was one of those moments where you realize that simple acts on our end can really bring joy to a child across the globe, so we set out to fill our boxes. I thought it would be nice to share some of the things we tend to put in the boxes, in case others are looking for ideas (it will also help me to remember for future years). Nothing too incredibly ingenious, but it’s amazing how much you can fit into a shoe box, so the more ideas the better:

Ages 2-4

  • Washcloths
  • Bars of soap
  • Combs/hairbrushes
  • Stuffed animal or doll
  • Big chunky crayons
  • Colouring book or notepad
  • Stickers
  • Board books/picture books
  • Hard candies (which may or may not be the best, given the choking hazard)

Ages 5-9

  • Wash cloths
  • Bars of soap
  • Combs/hairbrushes
  • Crayons
  • Pencil crayons
  • Pencils
  • Sharpener & erasers
  • Stickers
  • Notebooks
  • Stuffed animal
  • Small musical instruments (harmonica, whistle, etc.)
  • Hair ties and accessories (for girls)
  • Hard candies

Ages 10-14

  • Wash cloths
  • Bars of soap
  • Combs/hairbrushes
  • Pencil crayons
  • Pencils
  • Sharpener & erasers
  • Notebooks
  • Stickers
  • Small musical instruments (harmonica, whistle, etc.)
  • Hair ties & accessories (for girls)
  • Hard candies
  • Sewing Kits (A couple spools of thread, a hand sewing needle pack, small bag of colourful buttons, assortment of ribbon, grosgrain, webbing, small squares of fabric)

We’re hoping to volunteer again this year at the processing center and I will try to remember to jot down notes on good ideas for shoe box gifts. Sadly forgot to do that last year and there was so many good ideas that people had!

What types of things do you like to put into your shoe box donations?

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Shoe boxes everywhere

We spent an evening this week volunteering with friends for Operation Christmas Child (a program run by Samaritan’s Purse). Many years ago, my mom and I used to put together shoe box donations for the program. In recent times, I missed out on this while we focused our donations on local needs through our church. This year, though, hubby and I had quite a bit of fun organizing items to fit in our shoe box donation. We have friends who volunteer each year at the actual facility where the Calgary shoe box donations get sorted, packed and shipped. So it was with great thanks that we accepted the offer to join them in their volunteering efforts. It was just one evening, a few short hours, but it was nice to spend some energy towards helping others after focusing so much on starting up the craft business these past couple of months.

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