Sunday, October 28, 2012

Operation Christmas Child: Ideas for your boxes!

The deadline is approaching, it’s time to  get focused on packing Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Boxes.  What a better way to teach your kids about Christmas, than letting them help pack boxes of gifts for kids that will never get a present any other way. 
If this is your first time hearing about it, then let me share the basics.

Your family can pack a shoe box filled with little things that any kid would love and need. There are collection sites all over the US, and from their your gift is processed and shipped to any one of a number of countries.

If you plan ahead the cost is very minimal, but a great outreach and lesson for your children. 

After you are done packing your box they ask for a $7 donation to help with shipping costs. It is not required, but it helpful. I would encourage you to make your donation online, and then you’ll get to follow your box all the way to it’s destination country

Watch the video here: 

Here is 100 ideas to pack in your box!!
These Operation Christmas Child ideas for boxes are going to work for either gender and most ages.
    1. Hard candy, gum (Please remember to double bag all candy!)
    2. Pencils, colored pencils, and sharpener
    3. Erasers
    4. Pencil case
    5. Crayons
    6. Pens
    7. A personal letter and photo (Find tips for writing a letter HERE.)
    8. About Me page (Free coloring printables for younger children are HERE.)
    9. Ruler
    10. Glue stick
    11. Safety scissors
    12. Coloring book
    13. Markers
    14. Notepads
    15. Stickers
    16. Self-inking stamp
    17. Tennis shoes
    18. Socks
    19. Water shoes
    20. Flip flops
    21. Hand held toys
    22. Plush small animals
    23. Balls: Tennis balls, bouncy balls, Wiffle balls
    24. Jigsaw puzzle
    25. Finger puppets
    26. Silly Putty
    27. Silly Bands
    28. Sunglasses
    29. Scarves
    30. Bandanas
    31. Gloves
    32. Small flannel throw (Roll it up! It will fit!)
    33. Necklace
    34. Watch
    35. Hat
    36. Shoelaces
    37. Bean bag
    38. Hacky sack
    39. Small dry erase board and markers
    40. Teddy bear
    41. Unopened Happy Meal toy
    42. Toy binoculars
    43. Inflatable balls
    44. Legos
    45. Solar-powered flashlight
    46. Harmonicas
    47. Recorder
    48. Tambourine
    49. Jump rope
    50. Paddle ball
    51. Yo yo’s
    52. Handheld Etch A Sketch
    53. Small board books
    54. Slinky
    55. Flash cards
    56. Miniature checkerboard and checkers
    57. T-shirts
    58. Plastic poncho in packet
    59. Drawstring bag
    60. Balloons
    61. Crafting kit (beads, etc)
    62. Toy toolkit set (Thanks, Jenia!)
    63. Plastic eating utensils
    64. Sippy cup/cup with a lid

Grooming and Hygiene Items for Christmas Shoeboxes

These grooming and hygiene items for Christmas shoeboxes are always welcomed by the children and their families.
65. Comb
66. Brush
67 Dental floss
68. Mild soap (Please put in plastic bag or travel container.)
69. Toothpaste (This too! Be sure it’s in a plastic bag.)
70. Toothbrush
71. Colorful bandages
72. Hand wipes
73. Small pack colorful tissues
74. Lip balm
75. Emery board/nail clippers

Operation Christmas Child Ideas for Girls

These are some Operation Christmas Child ideas for girls, if you are packing a girl box.
76. Package of multi-colored Sharpies
77. Travel sewing kit (10-14 girl)
78. Fat Quarter bundles (10-14 girl) 
79. Hair ribbons
80. Ponytail holders
81. Barrettes
82. Small pots/pans with spatula
83. Bangle bracelets
84. Clip-on earrings
85. Doll
86. Pom poms (like the ones used at football games)
87. Purse
88. Hand mirror (unbreakable)

Operation Christmas Child Box Ideas for Boys

Below are some more tips for Operation Christmas Child box ideas for boys.
89. Ball cap
90. Soccer ball with pump
91. Cars
92. Trucks
93. Kazoos
94. Compass
95. Hammer  (10-14 boy, must be in original packaging) 
96. Nails  (10-14 boy, must be in original packaging + zipper bag)
97. Screwdriver  (10-14 boy, must be in original packaging)
98. Screws  (10-14 boy, must be in original packaging + zipper bag)
99. LED keychain  (10-14 boy)
100. Duct tape (10-14 boy)
101. Tape measure (10-14 boy)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights… (James 1:17 NIV)
I want to encourage you to pray as you fill your box, and trust His Holy Spirit to speak to you. Maybe He will place a burden on your heart for a unique gift that He wants you to include in your shoebox. I think that’s okay, and I think you should trust Him. No matter how unorthodox it may be, trust that the Lord wants that item in the box, and trust that He will get it to the right person. The five stories below prove that He knows what these children need, and He knows how to deliver each box to the one He intends it to receive it.
Hot Wheels. A Brazilian boy arrived at the distribution asking for a box with a Hot Wheels car in it. The volunteers explained that they didn’t know what would be in his box. They gave him a box to open, and when he did, more than half of the box was filled with Hot Wheels!
A pretty dress. As dad in India had never been able to give his daughter a Christmas gift. Then one Christmas, he was able to get a box for her at an OCC distribution. When she opened her shoebox, a pretty dress was inside–just her size.
Shoes. In Uruguay, four brothers came to an Operation Christmas Child distribution with only one thing in mind. They each hoped to get a pair of shoes to wear to school. All four opened boxes that had a brand new pair of shoes inside.
…for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! (Matthew 6:8b NLT)
Hair clips. Life in a Romanian orphanage meant living in poverty. All 12-year-old Livia had ever asked for was some hair clips. When she received a Christmas shoebox, hair clips were on the very top of the box.
Shoes and Socks. A boy in Manila lay with his right leg amputated in a hospital cancer ward. He received a box with shoes in it. The boy in the bed next to him, whose left leg had been amputated, received a pair of socks in his box. These two boys were able to share a sock and a shoe with each other so that each had a complete set for their remaining leg that fit.
What’s most important is that children and adults understand how incredible it is that people from thousand of miles away love and care for them because of Jesus Christ. And then they begin to understand that there is a God who loves them, who cares for their needs, and who longs to fulfill the greatest desires of their hearts by offering them a relationship with Him. That’s what the ministry of Operation Christmas Child is all about. Here is 5 tips on how to pack it.

  1. Roll the washcloth tightly. (You can even include a thin fleece throw by rolling it up.)
  2. Put the biggest items in first, then work around them with smaller things.
  3. Get a plastic soap container for the soap (like what you use when you travel). This will be another container that the child can keep.
  4. Pack a small plastic bowl with a lid and spoon. Put hard candies inside bowl.
  5. You can unwrap the hard candies from the plastic bag they come in. They will still be wrapped individually. Add these in last to your box, so they can settle into any empty spaces.
The dates for this year’s National Collection Week are HERE.
Operation Christmas Child has a way for you to do that!
  • Pay your $7 shoebox donation online on their site. When you make your $7 shoebox donation on their site, you will be able to learn about the country where your gift is going. Just use your credit/debit card to pay.
  • You’ll be emailed a special shoebox label to print off and place on your box. (This label would be placed on your box in addition to the boy/girl age labels HERE.)
The barcode on that label is connected to your email address. That’s what enables the folks at Samaritan’s Purse to track your box. You’ll get special emails as the box travels, telling you the destination of your gift. If you pack more than one box, just print out enough labels for all of them. If they go different places, you will get emails for each of them. Learn more about tracking your box HERE.

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