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Flip Flopping at Family Dollar to Add to My Operation Christmas Child Stockpile

Flip flops purchased at Family Dollar for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
I love adding bright colors to my shoe boxes!
I saw on the Family Dollar Facebook page that they had a sale on flip flops.  Boys', girls' and women's were just 50 cents a pair.  I know nothing about flip flops or the quality of them, but I decided to go ahead and get some.  Our children's group at church collects items to fill shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child each November and last year the children's minister asked specifically for flip flops, so

Boxes of Blessings: What's Inside for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Crafting?

My father-in-law is here to visit for a few days and has brought us several boxes of goodies.  My mother-in-law died several years ago and left a great supply of craft and sewing items.  Before we moved into our new home with my new laundry/crafting room I didn't have space to take much of it so over the years he has shared most of it with ministries or crafters who create items for my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

When I knew he was coming I asked if he had anything left I could craft items for my shoe boxes if he'd bring me some.  We also asked for anything like silk flowers, vases, etc. that my daughters could use for the banquets they do at church.  As always, Grandpa came thru.  Here is a pic of the boxes before we began to open them.We have only gotten into a couple so far and as soon as we are thru I'll share what treasures we found inside :-).  I thought it would be fun to have you join us in the suspense.

Update:  Adding this link to the unboxing post:  Boxes of Blessings Unpacked for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

Crochet Front Post Coin Purse, Jewelry Bag and Pencil Pouch Instructions ~ Designed for an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift

Coin purse and Pencil pouch crochet pattern designed for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

When I posted my Simple Crocheted Stand-up, Drawstring Bag Instructions a reader, Pam, mentioned she may use it for a coin purse pattern and that she was looking for a new one for her Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes crafting. So I took to working on designing some for her.  This is the second one and as I was crocheting it I thought how it would also make a nice Jewelry Bag and if I kept adding rows it would make a great pencil pouch, too.  When I dug out some of my school supply stock pile I saw it could also hold a small solar calculator, a

Winning Items to Add to Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gifts

Another way to obtain goodies to fill Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with gifts for those in crisis is by entering blog giveaways.  Bloggers offer many products in giveaways that can be added to shoe boxes and often offer gift cards.  I asked JRFrugalMom from Frugality is Free to share about entering and hosting giveaways since she is an expert.

Image compliments of JRFrugalMom @ Frugality Is Free.

When Cheryl asked me to tell about the great possibilities of blog giveaways, I was very excited, because as a giveaway host and a giveaway winner I personally know just how fantastic blog giveaways are.  From my own experience, and from

Crochet Shell Pattern Coin (Change) Purse Instructions ~ Designed for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Shell stitch crocheted coin purse pattern ~ designed for Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

A Simply Shoebox reader and avid Operation Christmas Child shoebox packer, Pam, crochets hundreds of change purses for shoebox gifts each year.  She mentioned needing a new design so I asked her to email details of what she would like.  I decided to try and design a few for her to choose from while I waited to hear

Simple Crocheted Stand-up, Drawstring Bag Instructions ~ Great for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Crochet Stand-up Drawstring Bag Pattern.  Designed to hold small toys in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

I wanted to make a simple drawstring bag to hold marbles to put into a 10 to 14 year old Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.  We had gotten several bags of marbles on clearance at Michaels after Christmas and once the little guy opens the bag they came in to play with them he would have nothing to keep them in.  So I designed this small bag.

I had a ball of cotton twine my girls had left over from an AWANA project and I thought it would be fun to use it for a boy's bag.  I liked how it looked as I was making it, but wanted just a splash of color so added a red pony bead to the end of the drawstring.  I then made one out of thin,

Dental Office Freebies Help Fill My Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gifts

Keeping an eye open for free items helps me to be able to fill more shoeboxes.  One of my favorite freebies are oral hygiene products from the dentist since toothpaste and toothbrushes are on my must have list for each Operation Christmas Child shoe box.  [UPDATE 2017:  Toothpaste is no longer allowed in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.]  Our dentist gives us a toothbrush, tube of toothpaste and dental floss after check ups.  My daughter and mother both gave me theirs from a recent visit to the dentist to add to my shoe box stockpile. I think I will include the little plastic bag, too, as it may come in handy for the child.

Many people who fill dozens of boxes for Operation Christmas Child each year report that many dentists will give them extras.  I asked our dentist one year when we were filling nearly 100 boxes for our summer VBS program and he gave us toothbrushes he ordered special for the purpose of donating.  They were very inexpensive and I have chosen not to request any more as I try to include products of the quality I would give to my own children. And when it comes to toothbrushes, these children may not be able to replace theirs for a long time.  You may want to check with your own dentist for donations of oral hygiene products.

Check out other ideas of Filler Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Sweets ~ Giving and Getting: Turning Gum Into Candy

One of the "green" center pieces.
There were four different colors of vases.
My daughters planned an end of the year AWANA award banquet at our church for the kids and their parents for this past Wednesday evening.  They used the four AWANA colors (red, blue, yellow, green) as the theme and included hard candy as part of the center pieces.  I had over 100 free packs of gum in my Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile I had collected already this year thru my coupon shopping and there were brands in the color theme so I shared 10 of each color to add one to each of their centerpieces (we planned for 40 tables with 7 seats each).

The gum and candy were big hits, yet after cleaning up from the banquet we had lots of the hard candy and some Twizzlers and suckers left over.  These were given to me to save for my Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes this fall.  I'll separate it all by type for storage so the flavors will not mix and then mix it again, double bag it and include a bag in each of the shoe boxes I send (well, in how ever many that I have bags for, I may need to buy some more).

It was fun to have a stockpile of shoe box goodies to give to fill a present need and also to see forty packs of gum turn into hundreds of pieces of candy--just what I needed in my stockpile.  It is true that what is needed for the shoe boxes is always provided--and sometimes in unexpected ways.

Such a nice bright addition for a child's shoe box.

UPDATE 2017: Candy is no longer allowed in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Each Saturday Sarah shares our additions to our stockpile.  You can see them all here:  Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ Adding to Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile.

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