National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child
This week was National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. It’s always exciting to pack up our boxes with the goodies we’ve collected all year, and then to deliver the boxes to the drop off location.
Last year, we learned of the option to track our boxes–they went to Ukraine! This year, we’re again eager to find out where our boxes land.
Did you miss the deadline? Or maybe you just learned about Operation Christmas Child, and weren’t able to gather the necessary items in time.
Not to worry! You can still participate in several ways.
1. Build a box online:
For $30, you can build your own shoebox online. You can even challenge friends to build a box, too, or donate a box in a friend’s name and allow them to build it online.
2. Send filled shoeboxes year round to OCC’s headquarters:
Operation Christmas Child
P.O. Box 3000
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607
3. Start collecting items for next year:
This season of shopping is the perfect time to start your Christmas Shoebox Stash. 🙂 In fact, post-holiday sales are one of my favorite ways to stock our Shoebox Stash on the cheap.
Shopping here and there all year long and keeping our eyes open for great deals allows us to pack our boxes for about $10 per box. This includes toiletry items, toys, school and art supplies, and candy, all contained within a plastic shoebox.
For my favorite tips on thrifty Shoebox-packing, check out this post: Are Your Boxes Packed? Operation Christmas Child.
How to Pack a Great Christmas Shoebox
To pack a great Christmas Shoebox, you’ll want to include a variety of items from the following categories:
- Art and School Supplies
- (Optional: Candy, Personal Notes, Plastic Box)
We always include:
- Bar soap (double bagged)
2. Art and School Supplies
Back-to-school sales and post-back-to-school clearance sales are a fantastic way to stock up on these items.
- Drawing paper
- Pencil sharpener
- Glue sticks
- Pencil box
This is the area that tends to vary more from year to year, depending on what we’ve found at good prices.
- Stuffed animal
- Jump rope
- Small frisbee
- Small games
- Yo yo
- Hair clips
5. Personal Notes and Candy
You may want to include pictures or a note to the child. I usually ask our boys to draw a picture for each shoe box. You can even include your address, if you like–the child may write back to you!
We usually include a few pieces of candy as well. Often it comes from my kids’ own Halloween stash, and sometimes we pick up a bag or two during post-Halloween sales. Make sure to include only hard candy–no chocolate or liquids. We tend to send lollipops, smarties, tootsie rolls and other similar candies.
What NOT to Pack in your Shoebox
Liquids, used items, war-related toys (knives, guns, toy soldiers, etc.), breakable items like glass, aerosol cans, etc. For a complete list, see the OCC website.
Optional: Plastic Box
We like to use plastic boxes–available at the dollar store–instead of a cardboard shoebox. Plastic boxes are more durable and can be used by the child for a variety of purposes.
Journey of a Christmas Shoebox
Our family’s five Christmas Shoeboxes are now en route to one of Operation Christmas Child’s Processing Centers for inspection. Then the boxes will be loaded onto some sort of transport vehicle to be delivered to their destination country.
Eventually, five needy children will receive our boxes, along with a gospel presentation at a fun event just for them. Wherever possible, volunteers will follow up with these children and lead them through a discipleship program.
It’s not too late
Remember: It’s not too late to participate, whether you build a box online or begin your Shoebox Stash for next year.
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…