Are you interested in participating in Operation Christmas Child and want to know how to pack your boxes inexpensively? We also love collecting and setting up a Jingle Bell Book Shop. Both allow us to give back. The only catch? Everything needs to be ready to be mailed in mid-November. Read on to learn how we like to pack our Christmas shoeboxes.
I’m happy to share how we’re giving back through Operation Christmas Child, not to boast, but to encourage you to find a way to do something special with your kids too. I’ve found that I cannot just talk to my kids about serving or being compassionate. Forcing them into something doesn’t work.
My actions speak louder than my words.
Serving together as a family and sharing past and present service projects we’ve done make the difference. My kids still talk about the playground that Daddy “helped build”, Gramom volunteers at the local library, Grandad works with Special Olympics, I run a volunteer tutoring program. We don’t have to teach them about giving, they are experiencing it through our daily lives.
Packing Our Christmas Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child:
Some people are fearful that they will have to spend too much of their own money to participate in service projects. Amazingly enough, we were able to fill the majority of our Christmas shoeboxes by “shopping our house”. I also try to collect items when I find them on sale.
Operation Christmas Child Ideas:
- Hard Candy – Halloween remnants
- School Supplies (notepads, scissors, crayons, pencils)- from back-to-school sales in August
- Toys (balls, cars, games, stuffed animal, game, birthday party favors)
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste – from our last visit to the dentist
- Soap – from our excess of buying bulk
- Mazes – we printed out the boy’s favorite mazes from here
- Socks – purchased
- Plastic Shoebox – already had, great for the children to reuse, click here.
How did we do this so inexpensively?
By collecting things we already had in our home.
When I first told my kids that they’d be sharing from their excess things, they pouted. I wish I could say they were thrilled, but they weren’t. I started making my stash and purchasing the socks. Then we started to pack. There was still room in the box….
What made the difference for my children? Why did they give more?
We went on the Operation Christmas Child website. There we watched Scotty McCreery pack his boxes and deliver them (click here) to the Dominican Republic. I cried. The boys started running through the house grabbing more things – balls, toothbrushes, small stuffed animals, and soap. We filled the boxes to the brim!
Our church is collecting the shoebox gifts this year. We were informed that as much as the kids love the toys and candy, they really appreciate the socks (to keep them protected from disease) and school supplies.
Bonus: We went to Chick-fil-a for lunch today and they had all of their Operation Christmas Child materials out. Free boxes you could fill, as well as “All About Me” sheets. The boys loved filling them out. We do prefer to use the plastic shoeboxes, so the children can reuse them for something in the future.
We’re also tracking our Christmas shoeboxes. We can’t wait to see where they end up!
Looking to see if you can participate in your area? Click here. Every year there is a collection the third week in November.
Let our actions speak louder than our words.
I’d love to know how you are giving back this holiday season. It may be for a toy drive, Jingle Bell Book Shop, Scouting for Food, donations to natural disaster victims, or something local. Let’s do give back!