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Spur of the Moment Packing Party for 100 OCC Boxes ~ "On a Wing and a Prayer"

My daughter found out Wednesday night at AWANA that she was placed in charge of the Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing party planned for Wednesday the 20th.  That gives her 12 days for planning, hunting and gathering supplies and a day to set up the day before.  We feel like the plane with a motor out coming in "on a wing and a prayer."

Her first shopping run....she just had to run back to Sandy's
last night and grab 99 cent stuffed animals and a few other goodies.
(I think that is the biggest bag I have ever seen from a store.)

Now in our family, we shop all year for shoe boxes hitting sales and clearances.  We also tend to fill our boxes with MANY items, we always seem to find one more thing to go in.  Just going out shopping for 100 shoe boxes on a limited budget on the spur of the moment is new to us.  So the first thing we did was go to the

I posted on Simply Shoe Boxes Facebook page as well as Clip With Purpose's asking if anyone was familiar with great deals at the few stores we have available.  We got a great response and wonderful answers.  Elizabeth made a list of all the stores and items and prices mentioned, made a list of the must have items for her boxes (see below) and set off on reconnaissance:  Dollar General, Family Dollar, Fred's, Big Lots, Dollar Tree, Mighty Dollar and a locally owned closeout store.  She saved Walmart and Kmart to start at when she goes shopping since she will have the prices from everywhere else and they are right beside each other.

Unfortunately, our local stores did not have many of the items others listed (if there was more time she could have ordered a lot from Dollar Tree, but they ship in 7 to 10 BUSINESS days, and that left no days for the actually shipping part to get here in time).  So she made notes in each store of what she did find and the prices.  She arrived home just after lunchtime and chowed down on the pasta dish I had made for her (I thought the warm carbs would energize her).  Then she covered the kitchen table with notes and lists for each store.  Grabbed the calculator and began figuring.  With her budget of $500 she thinks she will be able to pack between 100 and 125 boxes if limiting herself to the following items (and if she can find enough stock of the each item at the cheapest stores).


Hygeine  (all of these in each)
  • soap
  • washcloth
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrush
  • comb

School Supplies  (all of these in each)
  • pencils (not in 2 to 4 year old)
  • sharpener (not in 2 to 4 year old)
  • eraser (not in 2 to 4 year old)
  • crayons
  • plain paper
  • lined paper

Toys (all of these in each)
  • stuffed animal
  • ball
  • misc. toy

Clothing (only one of these in each box)
  • socks
  • gloves
  • t-shirt
  • dress (made by guess who??)
  • scarf
  • flip flops

Bonus Item (only one of these in each)
  • cup
  • hair bows
  • bracelets
  • jingle bell necklace
  • misc.
I will be writing a post each day or so with a step by step progress letting you know how she is doing.  Follow along with our family as I share our journey of The Spur of The Moment OCC Packing Party of 2013.


sunnymum said...

Sounds like a lot of love is going into packing those boxes! Best wishes.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Thanks, Sunny Mum! We do have a heart for the work and the children packing and receiving them. And we love working together as a family on such projects.

Rachel said...

Is there a way to send you some items to include in your boxes? I have 100 little sticker books I would love to send to you. We already did out 120 boxes.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Rachel, those would be perfect! I was just asking my girls if they knew of cheap stickers we could get. Email me if you would at:
simplyblogs @ live . com .

Rachel said...

Just sent you a email,

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