It’s that time of year.

And I am SO excited!

Packing a Shoebox

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that Operation Christmas Child is a program that has captured my heart. Because … this.

And in two and a half weeks, collection time will be begin! People from all over will be dropping off their shoeboxes full of gifts to drop-off centers. Those boxes will head to a processing center for inspection. And then they will be delivered all over the world to children in need.

I have been hitting up clearance racks and rejoicing in back-to-school sales and using coupons of all kinds to prepare for shoebox week, and my shopping is nearly done. By shopping ahead, I am able to maximize my budget and pack many more boxes than I’d normally be able to do. But if you haven’t done any of this – there’s still time!

Shoebox pile

Just grab a box and start shopping!

If you’d like tips to get started, please look through our Operation Christmas Child database for ideas and FAQs. Or feel free to leave a comment here or on our Facebook page – if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who will!

Remember, here are the basics:

  • Choose an age group (2-4, 5-9, and 10-14) for each box. If you’re undecided, the age group with the least number of shoeboxes is 10-14-year-old boys, followed by 2-4-year-old boys.
  • Fill up the box! Remember nothing perishable or breakable. In my boxes, I include school supplies, hygiene items (double-bagged), candy (double-bagged), a stuffed animal, an article of clothing, a small sewing kit, and whatever else I can fit in there! Balls, toy cars, stickers, dolls … it’s so much fun!
  • Drop off your shoebox between November 16th and 23rd. They ask for a $7 donation per box to cover shipping. You can use cash, or (my very favorite) donate online. You will be able to print a unique barcode to attach to each box, and you will get an e-mail letting you know what country your shoebox ended up in.

Family packing time

And remember, don’t be shy about asking for help! I have friends save shoeboxes, toothbrushes (from the dentist), Happy Meal toys, tote bags, and all kinds of things for me! And a few days after Halloween, I always ask my friends for any extra candy that they’re ready to get rid of. Fortunately, the candy that’s usually leftover is the stuff that’s PERFECT for shoeboxes! I made a little picture to share on my FB page – you’re welcome to use it, too! I’ll post it November 1st.

Leftover Halloween Candy

Okay – get out there and shop! Are you in?

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