November 9, 2016

Kid's shoebox packing party for Operation Christmas Child

This year I organized the Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing party for the kids at our church.  I thought I'd share some info on how I did it/it went incase that would help someone else with their organizing.

First I made a plan of what I could afford to pack, with some donations I was able to add a few more items.  I was trying to fill 48 with a budget of $500, including shipping.  Here's a picture of what went in the boxes:




What went in the boxes/budget:
Hygiene Kit  ($19.47 + tax) …worth $51.63 + tax
  • Combs ($2.19) …worth $2.19

November 4, 2016

Crayon Brands Heat Stress Test ~ Will They Melt in an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox?

There's a great variety of prices of crayons, especially at back to school sale time from fifty cents down to a penny.  So many choices...how to choose!  We want to send nice things to the children in our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, but we don't want to spend money just to get a name brand.  So I decided to do some tests on various crayon brands from my local stores.  (This post contains marked affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, that is how I afford the time to write these posts, and do these tests)

We tested five crayon brands for both coloring quality and resistance to heat (that they might experience in transit).  The brands we tested were Crayola, which you can normally get for $0.50 at Walmart & Dollar General during back to school sales,  Cra-Z-Art, normally $0.25 during back-to-school sales at Walmart,  Playskool which can be found at Dollar Tree (affiliate) and other dollar stores for $1, and  Dollar General offers a brand I*Magine often 3 for $1 or $0.33/$0.34 a piece at Back-to-school sales.  Also at Office Depot I got some Scholastic brand for $0.01.   All those prices are for 24 count except Playskool that is 36.  For those who are concerned about manufacture location:  most are made in China, Crayola is made in the USA or Mexico, you'll have to check the package.

First, how do they color?

You can see images and thoughts of our coloring test post here: Crayon Brands Coloring Test

Second, how do they hold up to heat?

UPDATE: Just wanted to be clear, OCC USA, encourage us to send them. They do not have any brand preferences, and has not had problems with any melting.  So, this is just extra info if it is still something that worries you, or you want reassurance-my research shows most hold up quite well at expected transit/storage temperatures validating OCC USA's stance. 

My understanding is that Australia & New Zealand have had so many problems with crayons melting in OCC shoeboxes, that they've added them to the "do no send"

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