I have packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child for years. I love it because it is such a personal way to give because you get to pick the gifts that go to the children. This is a great charity for couponers!
I was so excited when I found Jessica’s blog, Clip With Purpose. Her blog is all about helping you find the best deals all year round on items for your shoeboxes! I asked Jessica to give my readers a background on what Operation Christmas Child is and how to participate:
It may seem like a strange time of year to be thinking about Christmas, but I think it about it (and buy for it) all year long!!! Well, not actually for myself or my family, but for the needy children who receive shoeboxes filled with gifts from Operation Christmas Child! Every year, Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project, delivers shoeboxes filled with small gifts to needy children in more than 130 countries! We may think times are tough here in the United States, but the children that receive these boxes are often living in conditions we could not even imagine. Here’s just a few examples of how grateful these children are to receive such simple gifts:
An 11 year old in the Phillipines: We are six siblings from a very poor family. It’s embarrassing to admit that three of us are using one toothbrush… and we use salt instead of toothpaste. We use one towel for the whole family, and we use laundry soap instead of bath soap. When I went with my friend Angel to their “friend day,” I was surprised when we all received a gift box each. In my box, I found 10 toothbrushes, 3 bath soaps, 6 face towels and school supplies for my brothers and sisters for the coming school year!
A 12 year old in Guatemala: I live in a very poor neighborhood and many times I don’t have the school items that I’m required at school, and I always wanted to have a special pencil with removable leads. I prayed to God for one and some friends at my school laughed at me because I said I prayed for one. In my box, I got school supplies and among them two of the special pencils I always wanted to have. Now I’m happy that I have the opportunity to study the Bible lessons and I’m learning a lot. I have learned that God cares for me. God is good; thank you for sending to us these lessons.
My heart breaks for these children, and I love being able to bring them a little bit of joy. It’s very easy to fill and shoebox, and if you know how to coupon/bargain shop and get items free and cheap, then Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is the perfect charity for you! Most of the items couponers get free and cheap, such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, are perfect for putting inside shoeboxes. Other items that are recommended include: bar soap, hair accessories, combs, deodorant, school supplies, socks, and of course fun crafts and toys. To see a full list of items recommended go here.
I think buying items year round for OCC is really the way to go. When you buy items on sale or clearance (with or without a coupon), you can easily fill up at least one shoebox for just pocket change. Imagine how many boxes you can fill and how many children’s lives you can brighten!
My blog, Clip with Purpose, has a simple mission: Help as many people as possible donate as much as possible to Operation Christmas Child! Each week, I highlight the best deals on Operation Christmas Child items that are available at drug stores and grocery stores as well as hot clearance finds. I also share simple, home-made projects that you can add to your shoeboxes. Within the past few weeks, my readers and I have been able to add free toothbrushes, cheap clothing, and lots of toiletries to our shoebox stockpile! It is so much fun to collect these items and think of the smile on the face of a little child halfway across the world! I can’t wait to drop off my shoeboxes during National Collection Week next November. I hope you’ll join us in donating to Operation Christmas Child this year!
Jessica is a wife and mom of two young children. She shares her love for Operation Christmas Child and all the deals to build shoeboxes for little to no cost on her blog, Clip with Purpose. Last year she packed 100 shoeboxes for just $1000! ($700 of that was the recommend donation for shipping costs – $7 per box – which means she only spent $300 on enough items to fill 100 shoeboxes!)
Keep up with my OCC Shoebox packing every year and get tips for packing your own by checking out the Operation Christmas Child category here!