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Operation Christmas Child Shoebox for 10-14 Year Old Girl

Operation Christmas Child shoebox for a 10 to 14 year old girl.It's been a busy week with packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  I thought I'd share share one shoebox I packed.  It was for a 10-14 year old girl.   If you'd like ideas for other ages be sure to check out my posts on boxes from this year for:  Girl 2-4 yearsBoy 2-4 years, & Boy 10-14 years...as the middle range 5-9 gets the most boxes, we chose to do the other ages this year.

It took some careful planning and packing but I was able to get all of the items pictured into the pre-printed "Go box" in the picture.  Packing in standard sized boxes, especially the pre-printed boxes helps them get a lot of boxes in each carton they send out and they're more sure they'll have enough for the kids that show up at the distributions.  I wasn't able to pack all my shoeboxes in that size this year, but this one I was and I was happy with how it turned out.  First I'll share a list of what went into it, then I'll share how I packed it with some tips on getting a lot to fit!

What went into this shoebox gift:
  • Hygiene Supplies:
    • Toothbrush
    • Ivory soap (double bagged & in original wrapping)
    • Washcloth
    • Comb
    • Hair clips/bows
  • School Supplies:
    • Pens
      • 2-black
      • 2-blue
    • Pencils
      • 1-regular
      • 5-decorative
      • 1-mechanical 
    • Sharper
    • Eraser
    • Paper & binder clips
    • Lined paper in journal
    • Pencil case
  • Art Supplies:
  • Practical items: 
    • Sewing Kit
    • Collapsible water bottle
    • Handkerchief 
    • Whistle
  • To wear:
    • Shirt
    • Socks
    • Garden gloves
    • Head band
    • 4 bracelets 
    • 1 necklace
  • Toys & games
    • To play with others
      • Bag of marbles
      • Mini rubber ball
      • 2 mini card games
    • To play with quietly alone
      • Lego type blocks 
      • Mini kaleidoscope
      • Mini top
      • Mini Heart BB Maze
    • To "love"
      • Beanie Baby
      • Small doll
  • Draw-string Bag
  • Candy (double bagged & in original wrapping) UPDATE:  As of 2017 candy is no longer allowed.
    • 7 Candy Canes
    • 5 Bubble Gums
    • 2 packs of Smarties 
    • 1 Twizzler
    • 1 pack of Skittles
  • Personal correspondence (not picture, I'll probably put it in the side or stationery kit when I get it done)
    • Family photo
    • Letter
    • ...maybe Christmas card
NOTE:  Different countries have different restrictions on what can be packed in an OCC shoebox due to customs, for instance the US may be the only place that can send candy.  Be sure to check the guidelines from your national organization before packing!

And here's how I packed it:

Handkerchief in an OCC shoebox.
First I put flat in the bottom the printed handkerchief .  I always like to put one last surprise on the bottom of the box, so when they think it's over they have one more thing.  Sometimes I'll even put stickers or the photo and letter under this...this year I'll probably put it in the stationery kit.

How to put gifts into an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

I try to put the candy and soap on opposite sides of the shoebox to prevent scent/flavor transfer...don't want soap flavored candy!  For the same reason I nestle the soap in the washcloth.  In this box I nested the candy in the shirt for the same reason, as well as I thought the shirt would fit in the little holes between the stiff candy and strait side of the box.  In the bottom I put the lined journal and lined up the stationery kit, plain paper pad, Spirograph type item, and card games in the back to take up the gap between the journal and back of the box.  I've found that putting flat things together against the sides and back both protects them from getting wrinkled and saves space as they fit flat on top of each other.  I was afraid the spiral toy might break if it wasn't supported as it was stiff plastic.

Packing an OCC shoebox for a 10 to 14 year old girl.

Next came the pencil case (with pencils, pens, etc. put into it) and the bag with the hair items put into it.  We've read to always put something in bags if possible as in some cultures it's considered rude not to.  Plus the cloth helps take up the inequalities of the items.  I was surprised this year how much room sending a comb saved over a brush.  In the front I put the toothbrush flat side against the box and tucked in the kaleidoscope in a little corner.

Packing illustration for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

Then came the sewing kit, marble bag, and building kit.  I took the building kit out of it's box and put it in a bag which saved LOTS of room-put the flat cardboard towards the flat back and the uneven blocks towards the softer inside.  That's a good hint-take off as much packaging as is practical...you probably don't want to put a toothbrush in loose unless it has a case, but if packaging serves no purpose, remove it if possible.  I also tucked the bracelets and ball in spare corners.

OCC Shoebox packing in progress.

Then came the necklace, doll, crane, socks, top, and another bracelet.  Had to turn the crane around to find the best way for it to fit.

An OCC shoebox filled for a 10 to 14 year old girl.

Finally came the collapsible water bottle (with the thick top in a divot) and garden gloves.  These were kind of flat, so they fit well against the flat top of the box.  I'm sure I forgot to mention something as I packed it, it probably was tucked in a corner somewhere along the way but didn't show up in the photos.

Operation Christmas Child GO box filled.

It closes!

Do you have any tips on getting more to fit into an Operation Christmas Child box?

I've begun a series on this subject.  You can see all the posts here:  How to Fit More into an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox


Tammy said...

I love how you packed that sweet box for a teen girl! The most precious thing is the thought behind how you pack each item. I especially love that you put something special and a surprise at the bottom of the box. You have a huge heart and lots of compassion for the children you pack for. God Bless you!!

Sarah said...

Thank you!!!

marcy said...


Sarah said...

Yes you can. I'd suggest reusable so they'd have for more than say a month. Here's a blog post about reusable pads for shoeboxes including DIY: http://www.begirl.org/products/ Also another idea I saw that looked promising: https://competition.adesignaward.com/design.php?ID=40343

Unknown said...

What about Chapstick,chewing gum,small tubes of hand lotion or cardboard nail files.I also wondered about large decorated clothespins for hanging works of art or clothes that need drying.And adjustable rings to go with the bracelets/necklaces. Can skeins of yarn be usable or for older girls kits for making their own jewelry? Target stores usually have items perfect to fill boxes as soon as you walk into every store.

Sarah said...

Those are some great ideas Deb! ...except that hand lotion can not be included as it is a liquid and may leak and damage other items in the box and other boxes around it.

I'm including jewelry making kits this year, and have sent nail files before. The great thing about this ministry is it is so personal, and the boxes are all so different based on what is on the heart of each sender, or for some of us, after we get some basic things for each box (Wow, fun, school, hygiene items, etc.) we fill it out with whatever good items we find deals on throughout the year-that way not only can we afford to do more boxes, they are all more special/unique!

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