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Shoeboxes With a Purpose

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Starting in August, Christmas decorations started popping up all over the place. Am I the only one who wonders when Christmas decorations will be put out before school supplies??

This year {instead of getting irritated that the push seems to get earlier each year}, I am using it as a reminder to start packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The last few years our kids have participated in stuffing shoeboxes with fun toys and supplies to send off to children in other countries. While back to school shopping, we collected extra supplies to use when packing this year.

Operation Christmas Child

This 3 minute video is one of my favorite clips that reminds me again the WHY behind the boxes. Even though we may not know where the boxes are going, God knows what hands will be holding the boxes!


The shoeboxes can be filled with a variety of things {see the packing list ideas here}.  NOW is the time to start gathering items for the shoeboxes, because the collection week is November 12 -19, 2012. Go ahead and mark your calendar so it doesn’t sneak up on you! Find a nearby drop-off point by  OCC drop-off locations.

Operation Christmas Child

The Shoebox Challenge

This week our family is gathering shoeboxes, putting together resources and planning a big ol’ shoebox packing party with our local friends. Our goal? To pack 100 shoeboxes with our friends. We’re inviting families from our homeschool co-op, church friends – and planning a fun time of getting together to work on blessing children far away.

Our family will be putting together 6 boxes of those 100, so only 94 left to go! And local friends – be on the lookout for an invitation from our family to yours with a date and location soon! I’ll be sharing updates on our shoebox progress as we go along too!

Here are the five simple steps to partnering with the shoebox challenge:

  1. Find an empty shoebox {or similar sized box}
  2. Decide if you are putting together a box for a boy or a girl.
  3. Fill your shoebox with gifts for that child.
  4. Include a donation for $7 {to help cover the costs of shipping}.
  5. Drop off your shoebox!


100 Shoebox Ideas for Girls


100 Shoebox Ideas for Boys


Want to join in with us? Even if you don’t have a group in your area, you can still put shoeboxes together and help spread the word about Operation Christmas Child. Write a post sharing about OCC and link it up below!



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. How fun! I have the drop off day on my calendar so it doesn’t sneak up on me this year! But a packing party sounds even more fun!

  2. Thanks for this reminder — and links! I need to find the local drop-off location. I’ve seen some buzz on our local homeschool group’s forum- maybe we’ll get a party organized.

    On the Christmas ornaments before back-to-school – I remember back in the dark ages – when I was in high school – working at a Hallmark store when they needed extra help. We’d set up the Christmas ornament displays in early July. It was usually right before band camp so I was excited to have the extra money. ;)

  3. I have been sending out these boxes for several years now and ever since I started having children, it has been especially heartwarming. We are so blessed to be able to help others that are in need! Thank you for this wonderful reminder. I love her story!

  4. Thank you for sharing about operation christmas child. The story of the girl in bosnia, touched my heart. i am excited for me and my children to come together and share with a beloved child and be part of this amazing example of Christs love.

  5. Belindas_Buzz says

    Thank you for this great video (I cry every time I see it also!). We have been doing boxes for several years now – what a privilege! We start buying our empty plastic shoe boxes right after Christmas and work on filling them all year – the final things to go in are the school supplies!
    I love getting the emails to tell us where our boxes have been delivered! One day, we hope to be able to help deliver them also.

  6. Sarah, from Samaritan's Purse says

    What a good perspective you have on the early Christmas decorations. I can’t wait to hear how your packing parties turn out.

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