Tag: pack a shoebox

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 © 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:

Here are some stories from shoe box recipients.
Izabella’s Story:
Shanika and Sherika’s Story:
TRIGGER WARNING (Abuse/Sexual Assault) Boun’s story is difficult to hear, but so important:

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 © 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.