Operation Christmas Child shoebox ideas can be one of the most challenging and exciting parts about packing a shoe box for the Samaritan’s Purse holiday project. This heartwarming activity brings joy to children throughout the world each holiday season and now is a great time to start thinking about it.
You don’t have to spend a lot on filling these plastic shoe boxes. Coming up with Operation Christmas Child shoebox ideas without breaking the bank can take some creativity.
There are tons of bloggers and organizations that have tons of Operation Christmas Child shoebox ideas. Here’s a few of our favorite tips for the gift list:
1. Wrap plastic shoe boxes. Make a gift box itself part of the gift. Organizers on the ground handing out the Christmas shoeboxes can tell you how a plastic box is a powerful part of the gift. With limited resources, the recipients can use these clear plastic shoe boxes to carry water from wells. The lidded shoe box can also store grain, bread or other foodstuffs and protect it from insects or elements. Even the lids can be useful—Jessica at Clip with Purpose suggests putting a game or maze on the lid.
If you want to keep the traditional gift feeling, line the inside of the plastic shoe box with scrapbook paper or gift wrap for pizzazz. Buying plastic shoe boxes in bulk like this Sterilite 6 quart shoe box is one the best ways to save. Consider teaming up with others pulling together the Christmas shoeboxes so you can get the best deal. To do our part here at SpaceSavers, we’ve priced the clear plastic shoe boxes in bulk to pass along the wholesale savings. See all of the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes packs we’ve created for the cause like this set of 12.
2. Involve the kids. Chrissy makes a great point to involve her kids in packing the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. Not only do the kids learn about helping others but they also help you really see what kids of a similar gender and age might enjoy. Make sure to pick an age of child your own can relate to.
3. Shop after holiday sales all year long. Back to school is one the best time to pick up crayons, markers, and pencils. Keep in mind some of the traditional college back to school items like wash cloths and socks would also be greatly appreciated. End of summer sales have tons of shorts and flip-flops at great prices. You can almost always find hair clips and headbands for girls on sale.
4. Pick up freebies and samples of new items. One of the hardest parts of Operation Christmas Child ideas is coming up with what to include. This one is a no brainer to include things you don’t have to go looking for – it’s the stuff people give you. The toothpaste and toothbrushes handed out at events and fairs? The soap and comb at a hotel? These are small amenities you might not even take advantage of if you travel but just think of how much someone in another country would appreciate those things. Mummydeals points out that promotional items with logos like key chains, chap stick, little balls, and pens make great additions to the shoe boxes. Even the wrapped toys in a fast food kids meal would be small items. Anytime you get a sample of something hang on to it to include in the shoebox.
5. Buy packs and cases. One of the most obvious Operation Christmas Child shoebox ideas is to buy in bulk to save money. Get creative by splitting up larger packages of things into separate shoe boxes. Some ideas might be tennis balls and bouncy balls, hair bows, small stuffed animals, or even hard candy. Charlene at MyFrugalAdventures mentions jump ropes, stickers, and toy cars too.
Regardless of what you decide to include, know that the time is well spent and the items you choose will be greatly appreciated by the children.
What other Operation Christmas Child shoebox ideas can you think of? What have you included in the past? Have you started planning for this year’s boxes yet? Share your favorite items you like to include.