20 Best Tips

Hosting an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Party

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OCC Packing Party Header

This year our family thought it would be fun to invite a bunch of friends over for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing party. While it’s definitely fun to pack the boxes as a family, we wanted to introduce more people to the shoebox ministry of Samaritan’s Purse ~ and have even more fun with all of our friends around.

Are you interested in hosting a packing party of your own? Here are a few tips and a printable to help get you started! There’s still time to have one, because shoebox collection week is November 12-19th this year {2012}.

1. Order Resource Materials from Samaritan’s Purse

Samaritan’s Purse has put together some promotional materials to help you share about the ministry of Operation Christmas Child. We ordered one of their Party Packs that includes a hosting guide, poster, logo stickers, coloring activity pages, brochures and more.

2. Pick a Date and Plan for Your Shoebox Packing Party

Invitation backgroundWe have homeschool and non-homeschool friends, so we actually picked two afternoons to host our packing parties. We’re planning on a 2-3 hour timeframe to give us time to pack the boxes, decorate the boxes, write letters, watch a video clip, and put together a few crafts. Decide what you want to include during your party {click on the graphic above to see what we said to our friends}.

We asked our friends to 1) choose how many shoeboxes they were going to pack, 2) pick the gender and age range for their box, 3) go shopping for the gifts, 4) join our party to wrap and pray together and 5) include a check for the $7 to cover s/h. We’ll have boxes on hand {unless they would prefer to pack their box in a clear Sterlite shoe box} and plenty of rubber bands to hold the boxes together.

There will be 4 different stations set up at our party:

  1. A place to decorate our boxes {wrapping paper and tape}
  2. An area to write and color a letter to put in our shoebox
  3. A craft area to make a bracelet and/or puppet for the box
  4. A table to pack our boxes and get them ready to send off

3. Send Out Your Party Invitations

Operation Christmas Child invitation

We handed out some postcard-sized invitations and emailed the rest of them to our friends. I know…you all are just shocked that I put together a printable, aren’t you? {grins}

Be sure to download a copy of the editable Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Party Invitation to make it a little easier for you! The blue fields are editable {using Adobe Reader} and then you can print them out to hand out. There is room on the back to let your guests know what they need to bring and what you’ll be doing together at the party.

4. Find a Fun Craft to Make at Your Packing Party

In addition to the things that we’re buying to pack in our shoeboxes, all of the kids attending our party will also be making crafts to send along. After some searching online, we found some fun {and inexpensive for large groups!} crafts to work on.

Our craft list includes finger puppets {tutorial at Sidetracked Sara} and also some beaded friendship bracelets {the kids will design their own}. You can also find some fun craft ideas to make on the Operation Christmas Child Pinterest Boards.

Links to Get You Started Planning Your Shoebox Party

Here are a few helpful links {all in one place} to get you started planning your party.



100 Shoebox Ideas for Girls


100 Shoebox Ideas for Boys


Have fun!! I’ll be sharing an update and pictures with you all after our first packing party this Saturday. Hopefully I’m remember everything! If you are blogging and sharing about Operation Christmas Child, be sure to link up below with us:


OCC-blogger-button Disclosure: I am a member of the iHomeschool Network’s Samaritan’s Purse Blogger Team and voluntarily writing about this ministry. All posts are my own thoughts and do not necessarily reflect the views of Samaritan’s Purse. I am not an employee, agent, or contractor of Samaritan’s Purse.





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  1. reallifesarah says

    This is a great resource, Jolanthe. I can’t wait to see how your party turns out.

  2. www.pinktutus.blogspot.com says

    What a great way to get the whole family involved & share the gift of giving. Such a creative way to teach children the good values & pass on a tadition.
    Can’t wait to see how it turned out!!

    • the kids are all so excited! :) We had planned to have one earlier this week, but there’s a stomach bug going around, so it was a no go!! Saturday is looking much more promising at the moment. :)

  3. I”m thinking we’ll do this for Princess’ American Heritage Girls’ group.

  4. FYI, the wrapping paper gets completely destroyed before it makes it to the child. They don’t care what the box looks like though.

    • We line the inside of our clear boxes, instead of the outside so it will hopefully last longer. I know it doesn’t matter, but sometimes it’s fun to dress it up and make it look special. :)

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