April 30, 2016

De-clutter Shopping for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 4/30/2016

We're in the middle of a spring clean out at our house.  I tend to like to save things-haha!  But, giving them to kids in need thru Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes helps make it easier to pass them on/get rid of them.

Notebooks for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
While cleaning out the we found this lined paper we thought we could do without.  We'd picked it up over the years on back-to-school sales free or for cents.  We realized we haven't been using a much lately.  It's not like back before my sister and I graduated from college, or even just before we all use computers or other technology for keeping notes.  So we really paired it down to just a few in case we need one for something, and the rest we're sending in shoeboxes.  I think we're set for this year's packing of lined paper now between this and what we had left from last year.  You can see how we Fit a Spiral Notebook in an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox.

 These are some things from my private stash.  Cotton gloves I'll never use, some items from when we had Awana at our church, and a cute frog.  Decided I didn't need to hold on to them anymore and maybe some of my 10-14 year old girls would enjoy them!

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $0

Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $0

Added to stockpile:
  • Lined paper for about 25 boxes
  • 2 new pens
  • 1 pencil/pen case
  • 1 pair gloves
  • 1 frog
We have shared several Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Organization tips if you are interested.

April 16, 2016

CVS Freebies for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 4/16/2016

I ran into CVS after a wedding last Saturday, and got these two tubes of toothpaste free after ECBs and with the coupons also got the bunny on clearance!  Perfect for my Operation Christmas Child stockpile. 



Thanks to Clip With Purpose for mentioning combining these deals/coupons at CVS, I hadn't realized it made it free!


Spent from shoebox packing budget: $0

Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $0.44

Added to stockpile:
  • 2 tubes toothpaste [UPDATE 2017:  toothpaste is no longer allowed.]
  • 1 mini stuffed bunny

You can find all of our weekly stockpile additions here:   Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ Adding to Our Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile.

April 12, 2016

Stories and Advice From OCC Shoebox Distributions in Grenada

On this blog I mostly write about packing, shopping, crafting, etc. for Operation Christmas Child  shoeboxes, but I thought it'd be encouraging to share some shoebox distribution stories, plus I love to get more ideas and feedback on things to include from first hand reports.  Since I've never been on a distribution, I'm "interviewing" people who have!  Today's report is from Cyndee Ownbey:

My name is Cyndee Ownbey, I’m wife, mom of two teen boys, former teacher, writer, and active volunteer in our church serving on our women’s ministry team and helping out with our Youth.
Our family has been packing boxes for OCC for over 12 years. I enjoy hunting for deals on shoebox items year-round. I’ve outgrown our current storage spot for OCC supplies and will soon empty out our guest closet and relocate those items there. My latest deals are overtaking our bedroom floor!

I was invited to take part in the OCC Media Trip because of my blog, Women’s Ministry Toolbox. I encourage women’s ministry groups to get involved with OCC by

April 9, 2016

Stuffed Animals & More for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 4/9/2016

I stopped by Kmart Wednesday night hoping that their Easter would have gone 90% off and I could find items for my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, but it wasn't yet, but...I found some stuffed animals I couldn't leave behind, and they were discounted, so 4 came back with me! :)  We Include a Stuffed Animal in Each of Our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

Including stuffed animals in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.


I also shopped at CVS this week, and between clearance (there were some of the Dollar Days items in with the Easter items at 75% off), coupons and ECB deals, I got all this for just tax!  For more info on the deals I did, check out my CVS blog!  I plan to put a note on the mirror noting it's unbreakable, for the sake of the checkers at the processing center.  UPDATE:  2017 tootpaste is no longer allowed.



My local Dollar General didn't have any signs up, but was 50% off all Easter, so picked up a couple things for 50 cents a piece:

Family Dollar clearance deals for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

I ran into a Family Dollar hoping to find some of the 90% off clearance some had found, but my store didn't have any.  I did score these supper cute rabbits on Easter clearance for $0.30 a piece, though!



My mom & sister crocheted 1 hat and attached the "Hand Made with Love tags" they designed.



Spent from shoebox packing budget: $9.89

Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $0.71

Added to stockpile:
  • 9 stuffed animals
  • 2 toothbrushes
  • 1 toothpaste
  • 1 unbreakable mirror 
  • 16 pencils
  • 4 card games
  • 1 hat
Wondering what kind of box to pack in?  Check out our post:  What Type of Box to Use for Operation Christmas Child.

April 2, 2016

Week of Toys for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 4/2/2016

I ran out to a number of stores early Easter Monday, but they either didn't have anything marked down I could use in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, or nothing caught my eye.  But...while I was at a number of discount/dollar stores I did find some nice toys to stock up on-none cost more than $1 a piece-although one thing I had to buy 5 other items to qualify for it at that price:


 Later in the week I had more success, splurged on some bunnies for Wow items for the younger kids boxes.  Check out Why We Include a Stuffed Animal in Each of Our Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.


And with CVS deals and a surprise coupon for free candy I got even more good deals! (for more info on getting deals at CVS check out my other blog: Simply CVS).  UPDATE 2017:  candy and toothpaste is no longer allowed.


Plus some eggs we had (probably use it to make toy kits like mentioned in this post), some "stickers" we cut off the edge of return address labels-they had cute animals.  Plus a couple candies my grandmother got, but didn't want (EDIT:  A reader let me know that the Sixlets are actually hard candy coating chocolate, so they won't be going):


My mom & sister crocheted an Aunt Ida Hat and knitted a scarf and attached a "Hand Made with Love tag" they designed.



Spent from shoebox packing budget: $17.02

Spent from gift cards earned or won online: $1.43

Added to stockpile:
  • 7 wooden puzzles
  • 1 bead maze
  • 1 Shape stacker
  • 1 Wheeled snail
  • 2 Frog solitaire games
  • 3 balls
  • 2 Big stuffed bunnies
  • 1 pad paper
  • 1 package peppermints
  • 2 Tubes toothpastes
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 candies
  • some stickers
  • 1 hat
  • 1 scarf
If you like to craft and are looking for some craft ideas for your shoeboxes check out our Crafting For Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes Tutorial Index.

             
Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.
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