I know, it’s been awhile and this isn’t my usual area, but it needed to be shared. Every year, November rolls around and I want to do some shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. Between all that goes into it and the $7 for each box, we can usually do about three or four, but I always want to do more. So I had a great idea for next year that I wanted to share and hope that more people would join in with me.
How to pack 24 boxes for Operation Christmas Child 2014… did I mention it would only cost you $25-40 a pay? That’s one ordered out pizza, one night at a restaurant… in other words: a worthwhile sacrifice.
First, let’s go over the basics for those of you who haven’t done this before… There are three age groups for the boxes: 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14. For this example, I’m doing 5-9. Plus you can do a box for a boy or a girl. Next, what goes into the boxes? Here’s our packing list:
bar soap (in a baggie)
small notebook or drawing pad
play-doh… I got a multi-pack with the little ones so I could put three colors in each box.
toy… I’m doing a 5-pack of Hot Wheels and a Barbie, but you have to take the Barbie out of the box or it won’t fit.
plastic show box… way better than cardboard. I always find them at Target for something like 89 cents.
Here’s what I’m doing… I spread out the supplies over the whole year. It’s so simple! Something to think about… sales… things like crayons and notebooks will be on sale around back to school time. Christmas sales seem to start about October, so toys will go on sale more than the rest of the year. Also, the Dollar Store is a great place for toothpaste, toothbrushes, and bar soap. Might even have washcloths. Look for long sleeved shirts to go on sale about May.
Good tip: plan at the very beginning what ages and genders and toys. That way you can know exactly what you’re looking for. The toys was the big iffy for me. The 5-pack of Hot Wheels fits well in the box, a simple Barbie taken out of the box fits too. I’ve yet to really nail down 2-4 year old. I know, I have some of those so I should know, but toys for that range are tricky. Most toys start at 3+, so I worry about being safe for 2-year-olds. Just something to think about. Now, that 10-14 year range I’m really not sure about. I would probably do girl boxes in that range, with fun stuff like jewelry, glitter lip gloss, cute make-up. Who knows!
So take time to write out your own schedule. This is what mine looks like… (24 of everything)
Toothpaste – Dollar Store, Jan 1st
Toothbrushes – Dollar Store, Jan 15th
Bar soap – multi-packs from grocery store, Feb 1st
Washcloths – grocery store, Feb 15th
Socks – split into two groups March 1st and 15th
Long sleeve shirts & plastic boxes – these are interchangeable… just depends on when shirts are on sale. So April or May.
Play-doh – June 1st and 15th
Toy – I’ll keep my eye for sales, but I’ll split this across two months.
Crayons & notepads – Will snag these in August or September during back to school sales.
Also, can’t forget to save $7 every pay for the donation per box. Since they’ll need to be turned in before Dec, two of those times you’ll have to hold back $14. I think I’ll just have it in a little jar when I get cash out for grocery shopping.
Can you imagine if we all did this? If everyone 24 boxes over the year? If I could get 10 people to join this plan, that would be 264 boxes, 264 children getting something they wouldn’t have and the change to know Christ’s love through us. What if you could get 10 more people, and they could get more? This isn’t just about getting Christmas gifts to kids around the world without, this is about getting those kids Christ. Showing them there is love and it’s for them. I hope you join.