Sunday, November 3, 2013

Operation Christmas Child--Shoebox Time!!

This is my favorite time of year. For one, the weather is FINALLY getting cool in good ole south Mississippi. For two, it's time to start packing those Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes! That link will tell you all about packing a Shoe Box. 

I pack three Shoe Boxes every year, usually all for girls age 7-9. I can't remember why I decided on this number of boxes, I just go with it every year. You can pack as many as you want, that's the good thing about it. The other good thing about OCC Shoe Box time is that children all over the world get a gift for Christmas no matter who they are. OCC even provides boxes  you can pick up at your church (free of charge) or get through their website for a donation--they're called "Go Boxes."

This year I decided to put some homemade goodness into my boxes. I have to tell you I had a lot of fun making some of the goodies this year! I'll probably do it again next year--that's how much fun it was :)

Now, every year, I put the essentials in--soap, a wash cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste. Normally I get some lip balm, but I forgot for some reason, so I'll have to pick that up this week. I also include a brush, hair clippies,and barrettes. This year, I also made some elastic hair ties! I got the elastic from Elastic by the Yard, which sells fancy elastic in bulk. You can buy one yard, or you can buy ten. They have a great selection of solid colors and prints. The hair ties are super easy to make, and you can find the tutorial for those here.

(I also made the lovely cardboard packaging for the hair ties)

In addition to hygiene and beauty items, I like to include some school supplies--notepads, pencils, color pencils, erasers, and of course a pencil sharpener. Sometimes I stick some crayons and a coloring book in, but I ran out of room this year!

Now for more of the homemade goodies! Since I go with the girl boxes, I like to put some fun jewelry in. Normally, I buy this (FYI--you can get tons of stuff at The Dollar Tree for cheap so that you can fill up lots of boxes), but I decided on homemade this year. I found this great tutorial for a Chan Luu-style bracelet on YouTube. I couldn't believe how easy it was to make, so I made two for each box :)  I also found a tutorial for a wooden bead necklace here. Now, that blogger leaves her wooden beads plain, but I decided to paint half of each bead. (These are actually wooden balls, not beads). You can pick up the supplies at any Hobby Lobby or Michael's. And the other necklace I made is a Celtic heart knot. This tutorial I also found on YouTube. The findings (clasp, etc) I got at Hobby Lobby.

Finally, I always include some type of toy. Normally this is a small stuffed animal, but this year, thanks to Pinterest, I decided to make some plantation dolls. I followed the yellow brick internet road from Pinterest to this tutorial. You can get a lot of good Shoe Box ideas from Pinterest, by the way! The sewing kit I picked up at Michael's from their dollar bin--it is most definitely not homemade :)

And last but not least, there's always room for some gum and hard candy :)

National Collection Week for Shoe Boxes is November 18-25 this year. You can drop off your boxes at your church or at one of the drop-off locations. The suggested donation to help ship the boxes around the world is just $7.00 per box. That's not much considering you're giving a gift to a child who may never get one otherwise. Plus, OCC includes a Christian tract in each box--in the native language of the child. So you're also helping to share the love of Jesus with these children! Also, for the past few years, OCC has made it possible for you to know WHERE your boxes go! All you have to do is make the $7.00 donation online, and you'll get a label with a bar code. Once that box reaches it's destination, OCC sends you an email to let you know where your box(es) ended up!

I hope you'll consider filling up an OCC Shoe Box this year. It can make a huge difference in a child's life! Leave me some comments of what you put in your boxes--I can always use some new ideas!

Thanks for stopping by!