Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Challenge!

For years, our family has loved participating in Operation Christmas Child. It's a fun way to reach out to a child in another country with the Gospel of Jesus. And if you have children, it's also a way to teach them about giving and ministering to others. Each year, my three children love to fill a shoebox for another child around the world. They typically choose a child of the same sex and age range as themselves. This way they can relate to what they would like to have as a special gift and give it to someone else.

For me, couponing and Operation Christmas Child go hand in hand. Many of the items you might place inside a shoebox are FREE at drugstores or very inexpensive. In fact, I've heard of groups of ladies working together with coupons to fill 25, 100, or more shoeboxes in a given year. This idea has inspired me to reach out to you (my readers) to fill just one shoebox this year. If you have children, please feel free to fill more than one! Maybe this is the year that your little ones can learn about giving to others.

So, here's my challenge to you (in list format because I like lists!):

  1. Go to your closet and grab an empty shoe box. If you don't have a shoebox, you can often find one at a local shoe store (just ask the manager) or purchase a $1.00 plastic shoe storage box at Dollar Tree, Walmart, or Target.

  2. Start looking through your stockpile of toiletries and add one of each of the items listed below to your box. If you do not yet have a stockpile, now is the time to start watching the Walgreens and CVS Weekly Deals posted here each weekend before the Sunday sales start.

  3. Print out a label for your shoebox to determine if you will be buying for a Girl or a Boy and then check off the age range you would like to buy for.

  4. As you shop at Target, be sure to check out the $1 section for great small gifts for children in your child's age range. Dollar Tree is another great store for $1 items like YoYo's, puzzles, coloring books, balls, etc. If you shop over time, you won't need to spend a dime at the end of the year - when money is usually tight.
By November, you should have a filled box! And you probably will not have paid much more than $5 for it. Now, you're ready to drop it off at one of Operation Christmas Child's many Drop Off Locations. Just look HERE for one near you. (This list will be generated toward the end of the year with national drop-off day around mid-November.)

To help you get started, here is a list of typical items you can place inside of an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox and often get them for FREE or very cheap.
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Bar Soap (mild varieties such as Dove, Olay, etc.)
  • School Supplies (i.e., colored pencils, crayons, pencils, small pencil sharpeners, markers)
  • Batteries for Flashlights
  • Hard Candies, Gum, Mints, etc. (Not out-of-date)
Click HERE for some tips from Operation Christmas Child on what can be included in a shoebox - as well as what should not be included.

All it takes is one shoebox to reach a child with the Gospel! I hope you'll consider taking on this challenge. Throughout the rest of the year I will be posting Operation Christmas Child (OCC) deals to help you fill your shoebox and save money at the same time.

If you would like to participate in the OCC Challenge, please leave me a comment. I'm excited about this new ministry that we can take on together! And I hope that this will encourage and motivate you (and me) to be active givers toward God's Kingdom. Sometimes, we just need a practical way to give, and I can't think of a simpler way to give using coupon strategies and blessing others through our stockpiles!

1 Comment:

Terah722 said...

My family participates every year! I LOVE that this is something I can get the kids involved with and help them to understand the importance of giving/loving/serving others. It is a great time to start stocking up on things! I usually do 6 boxes but will hopefully do more this year since I started early. I've already put aside free floss from Walmart and some free toiletries from CVS. I also can usually find some cheap toys at Target after the Holiday (and August/Septemeber) clearances.


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