With school supplies on sale in the stores, it’s time to ramp up packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Here’s a peek at what’s inside the boxes we’re packing for 5-9 year old boys.
School Supplies: Composition book, student scissors, double pencil sharpener, pencils, erasers and colored pencils
School supplies are key. In some areas, children can only attend school if they provide their own supplies; a price of admission too high for many.
Something new to wear: Shirt, shorts, two pairs of underwear and socks
For boys in this age category I buy size 8 pants and shirts. Bonus points for elastic waistbands.
Hygiene supplies: Washcloth, bar of soap, toothbrush with cover and a comb
Can you imagine having to share your toothbrush or washcloth with several other people? I can’t either. This is a reality for many children in orphanages.
Toys/Wow Item: Jump rope, block type building kit and mesh bag, water bottle and Young Simba. Because even nine year old boys need a stuffed friend for sharing all their secrets.
So that tiny blocks don’t fall out of the mesh bag opening, I removed the manufacturer’s plastic bag and placed the pieces in a quart sized zipper bag.
A note about packaging: Many of the shoe box destinations do not have the infrastructure to handle trash. The packaging we ship becomes a burden for the receiver. Having said that, I did leave the colored pencils in the box for storage when they’re not in use.
I like to roll and rubber band soft goods to fit them into the box. Those rubber bands could be useful to the recipient, or just ammo for an epic rubber band battle!
When packing multiple like boxes, I snap pictures of each layer of the first box so that each box is not a new puzzle. I placed the package of colored pencils flat in the bottom of the box, then began the first full layer above. Sharpened pencils are positioned away from clothing, to avoid unwanted markings during shipment!
In the interest of not shipping air, I rolled and stuffed the socks and one pair of underwear into the water bottle.
Last layer! Position the notebook along the upper edge of the box and gently bend it over as you snap the lid on. My husband says the box is not full until you have to “Sit on it, to get the lid on it!” LOL! Rubber bands hold the lid in place until the box is inspected and taped shut at the processing center.
Tuck a Christmas card, your picture and a note of encouragement into your shoe box. Let the child know that you love them, and are praying for them. Include your address or email if you like; sometimes the recipient or their parents will write to you!
So that’s what we’re sending to little guys this year. I hope this post is helpful to you for shopping and packing inspiration.
Happy shoe box packing!
Links to other posts about OCC:
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