Tag: operation christmas child

Packing Shoe Boxes for Operation Christmas Child – Girls 10-14

A friend gave me the book Operation Christmas Child: A Story of Simple Gifts, and y’all, it’s wonderful. It’s amazing to read the history of this ministry and have a glimpse into the personal stories of some of the recipients. I have dogeared the entire book because it’s just that good. My favorite quote is by seventy-three year old Doris Goodair who said “I stayed so busy with shoeboxes, I didn’t realize I was growing old.” I wanna be Doris when I grow up.

Here is a peek into the boxes we’re packing for 10 – 14 year old girls this year:

School Supplies: Composition book (college ruled for the older kiddos), colored pencils, pencils, pencils sharpener, scissors and erasers. In the interest of not shipping air, we stuff the pencil sharpener full of pencil-top erasers. Don’t you think a colorful or glittered pencil would make school work just *a little* more fun?

Personal Care Items: Included are a washcloth, soap, toothbrush and cover, Chap-stick, nail care set, hair elastics and shower comb. We sometimes use the hair elastics to secure rolled clothing items; it’s more useful to the recipient than sending a rubber band.

If you’ve wondered why we send a toothbrush but no toothpaste, this makes it easier to get the boxes through customs and because the kids were eating the toothpaste. I read of one boy who downed an entire tube of bubblegum favored toothpaste in one sitting! Yum. Yum.

Something to wear: Hat, socks, fun leopard print tights, tee shirt, panties, and soft cup bras. My sister had several fabric bags from new pillowcases, so we tucked the underthings in those. Because opening underwear in front of your friends is still not a fun party game.

Since we don’t know the girl’s sizes, we send 14-16 size clothing for this age group. I figure it’s better to send things she can grow into, rather than smaller clothes.

Fun Stuff: Paint brushes, watercolors, art paper, zippered wallet, travel sewing kit, beaded bracelet, water bottle and tiny trinkets.

I rolled the washcloth and socks and stuffed them into the water bottle. The Chap-stick, googly-eyes ring and tiny, new friends were jammed into the crevices.

We removed the foam packaging sheets from inside the wallet, and tucked these small items into the pockets.

Here’s how it all fits into the box:

For more shoe box inspiration:

Packing a shoe box for OCC
What fits inside the box?
Boys 5-9
Boys 10-14

Happy shoe box packing!

This post is not sponsored. I only endorse charities that I personally support, and I hope you will consider supporting them too.

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Packing Shoe Boxes for Operation Christmas Child – Boys 10 – 14

Last year I learned that Operation Christmas Child receives the fewest number of boxes for boys 2-4 and 10-14. It’s got to be pretty upsetting for both the recipient and the distribution team to run out of boxes for a specific group. We’ve decided to focus our future efforts on the 10-14 year old boys category. That doesn’t mean we won’t ever pack for other groups, we just want to improve the collection stats for older boys. Here’s what we’re packing this year:

School Supplies: Composition book, pencils, double pencil sharpener, large eraser and full sized scissors. I like the scissors because they work for a lefty or righty and are practical for other uses in addition to school work. See the tiny fishing kit below.

Something to wear: 2 pairs of socks, 2 boxer briefs, a shirt and sunglasses.
In early August, Walmart marks down summer clothing and we were able to find sporty tees and nice button up shirts for $3 each. The performance fabric shirts are great because they are practical for any climate and take up less room in the box.

Hygiene Items: Washcloth, bar of soap, shower comb and toothbrush with cover. I like the shower combs because they are very sturdy and work for any hair type.

Fun Stuff: Building kits, sticky catch game and a tic-tac-toe game made by our sweet nieces. The game board is a drawstring eyeglasses bag from the Dollar Tree with the grid drawn on using a Sharpie marker. The game pieces are decorator’s pebbles. We include an extra pebble of each color in case one gets lost. The wordless instructions were found online and we printed them four to a page.

Practical Gifts: Bungee cord, drawstring backpack, cup, bowl and utility spork, the little box holds a tiny fishing kit.

The fishing kit contains one bobber, four hooks, two sinkers and approximately twenty-five feet of fishing line. We included a sketch showing how to assemble the line on a wooden stick.

Nest as much as possible. In the interest of not shipping air, we like to pack those nooks and crannies full.

Once I’ve figured out how everything fits into the box, I snap pictures of each layer for reference. This is especially helpful when I have breaks between packing the boxes.

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 big guys this year. I hope this post is helpful for shopping and packing inspiration.

Happy shoe box packing!

Links to other posts about OCC:
https://arthurizedhome.com/tag/shoe-box-gift/
https://arthurizedhome.com/2019/09/27/packing-a-shoe-box-for-operation-christmas-child-what-fits-inside-the-box/
https://arthurizedhome.com/2020/08/19/packing-a-shoe-box-for-operation-christmas-child-boys-5-9/

This post is not sponsored. I only share charities that I personally support, and I hope you will consider supporting them too.

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Packing a Shoe Box for Operation Christmas Child – Boys 5 – 9

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:
https://arthurizedhome.com/tag/shoe-box-gift/
https://arthurizedhome.com/2019/09/27/packing-a-shoe-box-for-operation-christmas-child-what-fits-inside-the-box/

This post is not sponsored. I only endorse charities that I personally support, and I hope you will consider supporting them too.

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Real Food Menu for Week of 11.17.2019

I feel like a kid at Christmas! National collection week is here for Operation Christmas Child. About 5,000 collection centers open in the U.S. on Monday. What a great way to kick off the holidays by meeting the practical needs of children in poverty while sharing Jesus with them. Many tireless volunteers will work all week long to collect an estimated 11 million boxes. Good news, great joy, indeed!

Breakfast:
Oatmeal with Raisins, Walnuts and Banana – Not really a recipe. Prepare your favorite version of oats and add toppings as desired. I like to add raisins to the water before boiling, so they plump up nicely. A drizzle of this is a tasty addition.

Lunch:
Greek Chicken Soup – Flavorful and light. We made this a few weeks ago and loved it. If you are reheating leftovers, warm it just until heated. If you boil it, you’ll have tiny bits of scrambled egg in your soup!
https://cleanfoodcrush.com/budget-friendly-greek-chicken-soup/

Dinner:
Autumn Pear and Goat Cheese Chicken Salad – So delicious, and Mark loves this dressing. I top with parmesan instead of goat cheese.
https://cleanfoodcrush.com/autumn-pear-goat-cheese-chicken-salad/

Turkey Herb Stuffing-Style Riced Cauliflower – New Recipe!
https://cleanfoodcrush.com/cauliflower-stuffing/

Huevos Rancheros – I used half the lime juice and added minced onion.
https://deliciouslyorganic.net/huevos-rancheros-without-the-grain/
Serve with clean corn tortillas if desired. Like these:
https://www.asweetpeachef.com/homemade-corn-tortillas/

Marry Me Chicken – New Recipe! I hope it lives up to its name. I could use some new bling.
https://www.modernhoney.com/marry-me-chicken/

Mediterranean Green Lentil Soup – A family favorite.
https://www.unicornsinthekitchen.com/easy-mediterranean-green-lentil-soup/

Snack:
Hummus and cucumber slices, Grapes, Strawberries, and Popcorn

Treat:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Nice Cream – New Recipe! A treat for the Mister.
https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2017/07/31/chocolate-peanut-butter-nice-cream/

I’ve blogged about packing shoeboxes here and here. For more information on Operation Christmas Child, go here.

I hope your week brings all good things!

Disclosure: In addition to occasional sponsored posts, Arthurized Home uses clickable affiliate links. That means that I may receive a small commission from sales at no extra charge to you. As always, my opinion is 100% my own, and I only recommend things that I truly love or use myself. Thank you for patronizing the brands that support Arthurized Home!

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Packing a Shoe Box for Operation Christmas Child – What Fits Inside the Box?

Since the gift idea blog post, I’ve had some requests to show how those items fit inside the shoe box. While I can’t send every toy to each child, I squeeze as much as possible into each box, making use of every nook and cranny. It’s most important to send a fun “wow” item and school supplies, clothing and extra toys are secondary.

I ordered plastic shoe boxes from Samaritan’s Purse for a few reasons: They’re large (6 quart), sturdy and reusable. The children can use them to store their things long-term. Parents often use them for food storage in the home, to keep foods dry and pests out, or to hold washing water.

Here are some things I learned while packing the boxes:

Roll the clothes. I tried several different packing tricks but rolling made them the most compact. The boy’s socks are thick with larger cuffs, so I rolled each pair separately. When rolling socks, stagger them so that the cuffs aren’t lined up. The girl’s socks are thinner, so I rolled two pairs together.

Underwear: Folding and rubber banding the underwear together spares the recipient the potential embarrassment of opening underwear in front of their friends. That’s never gonna be a fun party game! I folded them so that the elastic waistband shows, and they’ll get an idea of what it is without removing the rubber bands.

Boys underwear: While I don’t regret buying the five pack of boxer briefs for $2, I’ll stick to only buying briefs in the future. They take up a lot less room than boxers.

This next point blew me away! It’s so important to remove the packaging. I decided to collect all of the paper and plastic trash in one bag, and see how much our boxes generated. WOW! Enough to overflow a laundry basket. When you think of sending all of this trash overseas, the decision to remove the packaging becomes very obvious.

I used my car packing method to pack the boxes in layers. Here’s what fit into the girl’s boxes.

Layer One: tiara headband

Layer Two: 20″ beach ball

Layer Three: pencil pouch with school supplies, comb, leggings, three pairs of underwear, pencil sharpener

Because we want to send as many gifts as possible, the pencil sharpener has three pencil cap erasers stuffed inside, along with two stretch headbands.

The pencil pouch contains: 6 pencils, 10 markers, 10 colored pencils, 1 highlighter, 2 large erasers and 1 pair of scissors

Layer Four: toothbrush, tee shirt, bag of jacks, toy turtle, toy fish, bar of soap, box of 24 crayons, smooshed Minnie, 2 glue sticks, 2 pairs of socks

Layer Five: washcloth

Layer Six: composition notebook

The lid snaps on flat (mostly!) and because the box is filled to the gills, I placed rubber bands around it. Godspeed to the fantastic volunteers in the processing center who have to unpack and re-pack these boxes to go through customs!

So, that’s what fits! I hope this post was helpful to you. If you have ideas to share about how to pack shoeboxes, please let me know in the comments. Click to learn more about Operation Christmas Child.

This post is not sponsored. I only endorse charities that I personally support, and I hope you will consider supporting them too.

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.

Packing a Shoe Box for Operation Christmas Child

Y’all, this is so fun! Operation Christmas Child shares the joy and promise of Christmas with children around the world, by distributing shoe boxes filled to the brim with gifts. For many of these children living in poverty, this is the first gift they receive. Some of these deliveries are made on camel back, loaded onto elephants, others strapped to motorcycles; but all are delivered with love.

In 2018, more than 10.6 million shoe boxes were collected for distribution to 112 countries and territories. That’s a whole lot of joy!

Boxes carried by oxen in Mongolia. (Oxen with boxen?! Ha ha!) Photo Credit: Samaritan’s Purse

With just twelve weeks to go until national collection week, here are some fun ideas for shoe box packing:

One Wow Item: Dolls, stuffed animals and deflated soccer balls (with a pump) are all great. Mickey and Minnie are our “wow” items this year; boys get Mickey, and girls get Minnie. We folded them over, and placed rubber bands around them to make them as small as possible. The indignity! I tried using hair ties, but the fabric is too slick and they slid right off. Oh, well. The kids can have a humdinger of a rubber band fight!

Other Fun Stuff: Marbles, jacks, jump ropes, Matchbox cars, beach balls, sticky catch games, water bottles, playing cards, stickers, coloring books, journals and Lego kits are all fun additions to shoe box gifts. See Shanika and Sherika’s story below to learn why they were thrilled to get a set of jacks in their shoe boxes.

School supplies: In many areas around the world, school supplies are the ticket to education. Can you imagine not attending school simply because you don’t have paper or a pencil? One lady on a distribution trip reported that teachers break pencils into several pieces, so that more students can have one.

Something to Wear: Walmart and Kohls had great end-of-summer sales on kid’s clothing. The boys get tees and shorts, and I found tees, capri pants and dresses for the girls. Shoes and flip-flops are useful and appreciated.

I sure hope that the boy who receives this outfit is a little spitfire. He’ll need a lot of personality to rock that monster tee!

We’ll KonMari the heck out of the clothing, and keep them folded during processing and shipment using rubber bands.

Personal Care Items: We’re packing for elementary age children this year, so a comb, washcloth, toothbrush with cover and a bar of soap will do the job. Just picture twelve children sharing a washcloth, or 25 children sharing a toothbrush. Such simple items can mean the world to a child in need.

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 if you like; sometimes the recipient or their parents will write to you!

Here are some helpful tips I’ve learned from the Shoebox Shoppers Facebook group:

  • You do not have to use OCC boxes, although they’re nice! Any shoe box will do. Standard sizes are best because they can pack more into a carton when they are a uniform size. However, odd/larger size boxes will not be rejected.
  • Remove all packaging material from the shoe box items. Most of the receiving countries do not have the resources to handle trash. The recipient will not think that your gift is used if it’s not in the manufacturer’s packaging.
  • Fill the box to the brim. Don’t ship air!
  • Boxes are inspected at 8 different processing centers around the U.S. The volunteers view each box as your unique gift to a child, and do not remove items unless they’re on the prohibited list. (Liquid, glass, seeds, war-related, etc.) They do not re-distribute gifts from one box to another. They will add to a box if needed, and keep small filler items on hand in case a box has extra room.
  • Track your box online, but know that some boxes go to sensitive countries and you might not learn the final destination of your gift. Be sure to include $9 per box to cover the costs of shipping and transportation.

No time to pack a shoebox? You can quickly build one online here:
https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/buildonline/

Here are some stories from shoe box recipients.
Izabella’s Story:
https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/shoebox-stories-izabella-and-a-snow-globe/
Shanika and Sherika’s Story:
https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/shoeboxstories-shanika-sherika-and-the-notebooks/
TRIGGER WARNING (Abuse/Sexual Assault) Boun’s story is difficult to hear, but so important:
https://video.samaritanspurse.org/boun-thornes-story-gifts-from-god/?fbclid=IwAR1-6fwko-4FOINBMsc4C94PRSIXCwngixknbyDvYAk9n6YvJxN_O_hl9PU

What a beautiful and simple way to bring the good news of Jesus to children around the world!

Helicopter delivery in Honduras. Photo credit: Samaritan’s Purse

This post is not sponsored. I only endorse charities that I personally support, and I hope you will consider supporting them too.

Copyright 2019-2020 © Arthurized Home – All Rights Reserved. This post is the original content of Arthurized Home. If you’re reading this on another site, it’s unArthurized.