It is now a family tradition to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child! My children look forward to purchasing, picking out what to put in the boxes, and packing them! Did you know that National Collection week is Nov. 18-25? You still have time to gather supplies and plan a party!
For our 2013 boxes, we began gathering supplies right after Christmas! We tried to hit seasonal sales throughout the year. My 15 yr. old daughter is quite the bargain shopper and filled our bin with many practical and fun items. She especially tries to find things that older children might like to receive.
What Do You Pack in an Operation Christmas Child Box?
My family likes to make sure that we have both practical items and fun items. Some of the items in our boxes this year are:
- pencils with fun eraser toppers
- pens and small notepads
- small coloring books
- slider pencil cases
- toothbrush/toothpaste kits (we get them at Target and they come in a handly plastic slider bag to easily keep the items together)
- sewing kit
- small plastic drinking cups
- combs, brushes, fun hair accessories
- small toys
Not sure how to pack a shoebox? You can find out how to pack it here.
Organizing a Packing Party
We also pack OCC boxes at church. We have all ages pack boxes— from 3yrs. to 5th grade. Here are some tips that we’ve found to help keep everything running smoothly if doing with a packing with a large group of children:
- Have children start bringing in items 1 month before the event.
- Before the packing party, sort the donated items. We have bins of practical items and then also divide the toys by age/gender.
- On the day of the party, have one long table in the center of the room filled with the organized practical items (washcloths and soap, toothpaste, comb/brush, drinking cups, school supplies etc.) Then we have 2 other tables set up 1 girls table and 1 boys table. Each child is given a box with a tag on it that tells them which age-group and gender they are packing for. They first must go to the practical items table and put one of each in the box. Next they go to the boy or girl table and fill in with fun stuff. This provides some structure but still gives the children choices.
Jolanthe from Homeschool Creations shares ideas on how to host an Operation Christmas Child party at home. She also has a free printable invite that you can customize!
How Do You Pack an OCC Box?
See how Si Robertson from Duck Dynasty Packed his! Follow #ShoeboxSi on Twitter.
Do you have any packing party tips? Any other great suggestions for items to include in the boxes?
As a member of the Samaritan’s Purse Blogger Team, I write about the ministry on a volunteer basis. All posts are my own thoughts and do not necessarily reflect the views of Samaritan’s Purse. I am not an employee, agent, or contractor of Samaritan’s Purse.