Packing a shoe box. In a society that is constantly self-focused, this is one wonderful way to give back!
Shout out to Operation Christmas Child (OCC) in this post because it’s almost collection week and I think it is a great opportunity to give back!
So here are 5 ways to pack a shoe box!
1. Pick an age and gender.
To me this is the easy part, but it’s still important!
2. Pick a theme.
This part is the super fun part for me! The theme I picked this year for mine (female ages 10-14), was “winter comfort”. Vague, I know, cause honestly my prior plans mostly failed, due to not being able to find what I wanted, and so this became the theme! …So don’t be discouraged if your first theme doesn’t work! 😉
3. Fill the box!
OCC’s website suggests going off of: 1 “wow” gift, personal care items, clothing and accessories, crafts and activities, and toys.
Personally, I feel like this is a little vague, and at the same time, overwhelming. So here is more how I put them together…
Start with an outfit. Make sure this outfit is “one size fits most” and very modest! Remember the cultures and places most of these boxes are going to are very conservative! My go to is shorts/sweats and a t-shirt for boys, and a maxi skirt and loose top/poncho/scarf-shirt for girls.
Go from that to accessories. For boys this may be socks or a cool hat. For girls add in some ribbons, hair ties, headbands (cloth so they can’t break), socks, bows, scarves, etc.
Then build to hygiene. Toothbrushes, reusable pads with picture instructions on how to use them(girls), washcloths, bar soap, anything non-liquid.
Then add practical things like flashlights that run off of wind up power, camping cups that can be heated over fires, or string bags that they can reuse.
Then go to education supplies. Honestly this one I have a hard time with, because the majority of girls out there that are getting these boxes above the age of 10 will no longer be in school. So for under 10, add in a notebook or two, pencils with sharpeners (not plastic pencils), crayons, solar calculators, coloring and picture books. For above 10, maybe a journal and pens or pencils, cause the literacy is unknown, but at least then they could draw pictures or learn how to write.
From there you can see, there isn’t much room left in the box, so the “toy” or “craft” needs to be small, but still fun! So for the 10-14 girls, I honestly just do a pretty notebook or coloring book and fun pens, or a nice set of ribbons or yarn that they can make into something. For the boys that age a nice set of tools (mini version) or maybe a yoyo, depends on the guy. For the littler ones the usual trucks, cars, dolls, puppets, things like that are always fun!
4. Package the box to look like a gift.
For girls this can be folding clothes and then wrapping ribbon around them like a gift box, so they can reuse the ribbon for their hair. For boys this could be decorating the box with cool colors or adding little action figures in as if they are hiding throughout the box.
5. Pray for the child getting the box.
I a child qualifies for a box, they are not in a very comfortable place in life, so pray for them, their family, the political situations around them, all of it.
So there you go! I hope you all find unique ways to give back in a season so focused on self and receiving!
Oh, and remember these don’t need to be packed in a shoe box, they could be packed in a plastic container or anything the size of a shoe box! 🙂
51 days down, 314 to go!