Operation Christmas Child provides gifts to needy children around the world. Samaritan’s Purse asks people to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children that they can then send to other countries. According to Samaritan’s Purse, over 8 million children received shoeboxes last year alone. Directions on how to participate are located on the Operation Christmas Child website but I wanted to share some inexpensive shoebox ideas here.
My family and I went to a local dollar store last night to pick up a few items to include in our box. It was fun to get the whole family involved and have my two year old help pick out the gifts we would be giving to another child. With everything costing a dollar we only spent eight dollars and some change on everything pictured below.
Here are some other ideas for packing frugal boxes:
- Look for multi-packs of items you can split up into multiple boxes (or give one to your child and put the other in the shoebox).
- Check out clearance sections in various stores you shop at (especially after Holiday markdowns).
- Look for new items in resale shops and thrift stores.
- Include unopened happy meal toys.
- Find toys and other small items in the dollar section of stores (like Target).
- Look online at wholesale sites (like Oriental Trading Company).
- Use coupons to get cheap (or free) items.
- If money is really tight consider working with a friend to pack a shoebox together.
- Shop year round.
- Get items for free! Ask your dentist for a free toothbrush, your child’s pediatrician for a couple free stickers, get lollipops from your bank, and take the crayons home you get with your kid’s meal at the local restaurant.
Operation Christmas Child – Another idea: My husband travels a lot. He usually brings his own toiletries and then takes all the free shampoo bottles etc. that the hotel gives out (fresh ones each day).
He also flies business class at times and recieves a “goodie bag” with socks toothbrush/paste and a few other things. We have donated these to a little girls group my kids are involved in and they made goodie bags for the local homeless shelter and supplemented with other things and prayer cards. I don’t see why you couldn’t include some of these things in the shoebox.
Lastly, I worked for a company years ago and one of the employees there would ask all the employees who travel to donated all their un-used toiletries from the hotel and she in turn donated it to the local homeless shelter. Just thought I’d share.