How to pack a shoebox

Packing shoeboxes is a very rewarding experience and can be quite simple. The first thing you need to do is find an unused (but in new condition) shoebox, get one of the fold-able ones distributed by Operation Christmas Child (usually handed out at churches before collection week) or use a similarly size plastic container with separate lid that clicks on. Personally, my family uses plastic containers as they are an extension of the gift itself as we have heard stories of how the families use these to store things or even to carry water in them.

The second thing you need to do is decide what age and gender you would like to make a shoebox for. Pray about this. Many families typically pack a shoebox for the same gender and age range as their child, so if you have a six year old girl, you might select for a girl in the 5-9 age range. Operation Christmas Child first has you select boy or girl, and then the different age ranges are 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14.

Then, go shopping and have fun picking out the items you would like to put in your box. Many families have started packing shoeboxes year round as this allows you to watch for sales. For example, where I live, mittens are normally $1.50 a pair, still fairly inexpensive, but last week they were discounted down to 60% off or like how we found 2-packs of toothbrushes that were .89 cents a pack, but had a manufacturer coupon to save $1.00 for each two packs, so we only spent .20 cents per toothbrush. Needless to say, savings start, we stock up.

Remove packaging and fill your box. Fill out a letter and include a picture of yourself, as well as a self-addressed and stamped envelope in your box in case the child who gets your box would like to thank you.

Add a check for seven dollars, or even better, go to Operation Christmas Child’s website and use their E-Z give option which allows you to pay for your box online and then print off a tracking label which will allow you to find out where your box went.

Place a rubber band around your box and take it to your local collection site. When collection week approaches, there is usually a link on Operation Christmas Child’s website to allow you to put in your information and find your closest collection location.

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