It’s finally here! Nation Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child’s Shoe Boxes!! I’ve got 31 boxes ready to go this weekend! I LOVE doing this–it brings HOPE. Yes, it is evangelism. But it is a story of HOPE. It does not teach hate. It gives hope. How do I know? My child received such a box in an orphanage in the former Soviet Union many years ago. That’s why I do this!
One of the things I enjoy most about this project is seeing what other’s pack in their shoe boxes–I often get great tips that I incorporate into future shoe boxes. One tip I’ve used for years now is to line boxes with a pretty bandana–I now do this for all my girl boxes, trying, whenever possible, to have the bandana and the clothing items match. Next year, I’ve got a new tip to try from my friend Linda at the blog Filled With Laughter …
See that bar of soap in the food container? Wow! Super cool and super cost-effective soap box! You can even collect these “free” if you buy a certain brand of lunch meat! I love that the container sits “flat” and is stable. Too often those hinged-lid soap boxes won’t sit flat and that can be annoying if you are washing in primitive conditions. And, depending upon your selections, both the soap and the wash cloth may fit in there. Great tip, Linda!
Here are some photos of this year’s boxes. Thank you to Gideon and Mollie and Mom Melisa at the blog I Will Lift Up and to author Susan Barnett Braun at Girls In White Dresses for sharing photos of some of their boxes. This is a GREAT project for familes–look at some of the the great things Gideon and Mollie helped pack:
What boy wouldn’t love a cool Lego set?? And a fashionably dressed Barbie for a little girl? I love all the practical things they chose as well. Best of all, I know these two took even more care in praying over their boxes than they did choosing the contents. Well done, kiddos!
Theme boxes can be a fun way to show a child your love and to have fun doing so. I happen to know that Linda and her hubby are HUGE Reds fans, so I love that they are sharing this love with a shoe box recipient!
See how easy it is to “theme”? Some composition books, a t-shirt and a water bottle. I love that she carried the Reds theme thru with a red Recorder to play and red/black socks, baseballs and even a red balloon! Well done, Linda!
This year I forgot to keep an exact list of what was packed. Here’s a summary of sorts from memory:
Every box–all 31–got shirt or dress, underpants, pencils/pens/sharpener/bag, toothbrush and wash cloth. There were 4 lightweight fleece blankets suitable for up to age 14 and 2 baby-toddler sized blankets. Numerous water bottles or cups. Older child boxes (over age 4) received a composition book. Several sets of colored pencils. Numerous stuffed animals. 9 soccer balls with pumps–some to both boys and girls and all ages. Hot Wheels cars. 1 Barbie doll. 4 pairs of shoes. Numerous pairs of socks. Every girl box got a bandana and the middle and youngest aged girls got jump ropes. Little children’s boxes had coloring books and crayons. There were 4 Bible board books. Little children each received a toddler sized bowl, cup and silverware–all sturdy (not disposable) plastic. 4 light backpacks. Several children’s puzzles. A bar of soap is in every box that with room enough left in it.
Here are some of the shoe boxes my friends and I have packed this year.
Want to know where your box(es) end up? Pay your suggested $9 shipping fee online HERE, print you label and, once your box(es) is delivered you will receive an e-mail telling you it’s country of destination.
You forgot? Just learned of Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes? Don’t worry! Not only do you still have thru November 20th to pack and drop off a box(es), but you can also create a box online, or, if you don’t mind paying the shipping, you can ship your box(es) to a processing center. Here are the links you need: [click the linked text to go directly to the page]
Find a local drop-off location
To Mail a shoe box:
[This option is available year-round]
Operation Christmas Child
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607
If you are new to Operation Christmas Child’s shoe box gifts, take a little time and explore their web page and take time to read some of my posts on the program, especially if you’ve never been outside the U.S.A. Pack This, Not That is a good place to start.
Remember, please, please, remember: Don’t pack things that may sexualize young girls! What we think of as cute can be very provocative elsewhere. Keep to traditional styles and fit for clothes–especially underpants. And, if packing menstrual hygiene kits, be DISCREET. No one anywhere dreams of opening a pack of Kotex in front of others! Even a pretty, cloth kit can cause shame and embarrassment. Put such items in the bottom and never send tampons.