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

Slow Week for OCC Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 5/27/2017

Well, this is a slow time of year it feels for Operation Christmas Child shoebox shopping, the spring holidays' clearances are over, and back-to-school deals haven't started yet.  We did manage to find some cute, like new, stuffed animals at a local thrift store:

Thrift Store stuffed animals for packing in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Also, I recently reorganized my stationery/letter writing supplies, and trimmed down some of my supplies as I was running out of room.  Not so much getting rid of any paper entirely, but rather some of the sheets of some of the paper I had the most of and didn't think I'd use all up, that way I could fit more pads of paper in the drawer!  Plus some stickers and pens.

I'll probably use the paper to make stationery kits either like these I did in 2013 for my 10 to 14 year old girl shoeboxes, or just put some sheets together in a large envelope.

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $1.07 

Added to stockpile:
  • 4 stuffed animals
  • 25 pens
  • Lots of stickers and cute paper 
 If you'd like to see some other ideas of what to include in a shoebox check out:  Filler Items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

Shop thru Swagbucks this Memorial Day Weekend for Larger Cash Back [Thru 5/29/2017]

Most Memorial Day sales are about saving you money. With Swagbucks, you'll earn money too! They're offering increased cash back (in the form of SB points) at several of your favorite merchants.  For instance, Walmart is up to 4% back!!  And I know many of you have things for shoeboxes you like to get for shoeboxes!   Some of them may not go on sale, but getting extra cash back is almost like a sale!  

If you haven't heard of Swagbucks, when you shop there you get cash back in the form of SB points for every dollar you spend. Then you redeem those points for gift cards to places like Amazon, PayPal, Starbucks, Walmart, and more! Sign up here to get started 

Plus, if you've signed up through my links at some point this month (or do it now), you'll get a $2 (200 SB) bonus added to your account when you spend $25 or more through Swagbucks Shop before the first of June!

You can earn SB in all sorts of ways, including discovering deals and trying new products/services, watching videos, taking surveys, or just searching the web!  

Get your shopping done early AND get points for it to use for cash back or gift cards! Offers last through Monday, May 29th, 2017.

Check out more ways to earn at Swagbucks by clicking this link:  How to Earn Free Gift Cards and Cash at Swagbucks Series.

Disclosure:  Links to Swagbucks in this post are my referral links.  Thank you for using my links.  I also earned SB for sharing this promotion.

MD Supplies & Services Reviews of Products to Pack in Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

 Post contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

DISCLAIMER: Prices are current as time of reviews, may go up or down as time goes on.

If you pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes in any number, often buying things in bulk can be a way to make it easier and to stretch funds.  For hygiene supplies one good option I've found is to order from MDSupplies & Service's special Shoebox Packer's order form.   MDSupplies & Service has helpfully made us who pack for OCC shoeboxes a special order form of just items that can go in shoeboxes...plus it has FREE SHIPPING!!!  They helpfully arranged for me to sample some items from the Shoebox Packers order form, and I wrote review posts of the items I tried; below are the links to the various reviews.

MDSupplies & Service sells hygiene and other supplies in large lots of varying sizes, so for someone who only packs a few Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes this may not be as great, but you may be able to go in with friends.  Or, because the deals are so good, if you can scrape together a little extra money and storage space, it may be worth getting a few years ahead.  That's what we are doing.

Hope this helps someone!

Their website describes MDSupplies & Service as a "Medical Supply Store Shop with over 30,000 discount medical supplies and medical equipment products from the industry's leading manufacturers and brands. Our 'Direct-Connect' medical supply store technology allows us to offer medical supplies online at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional medical supply distributors, saving you an average of 50%."  So they not only save Operation Christmas Child shoebox packers money, they give doctors, dentists, hospitals and anyone in the medical field an opportunity to save on supplies.

Update October 2017:  Links in this post to MDSupplies & Services are now affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Thrift Store and Clearance Shopping for OCC Shoebox Stockpile Saturday ~ 5/20/2017

This is actually the results of a few weeks of collecting for Operation Christmas Child shoebox stockpile, but with my grandmother's death and vacation, I didn't get them posted.

My sister got two of these canvas tote bags our children's pastor had gotten at a conference and was getting rid of...they roll up great to fit in shoeboxes.

CVS Easter Clearance shopping for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
Picked up some clearance at CVS...had some ECBs I'd gotten from various deals (for more info on CVS deals check out my other blog SimplyCVS), but with everything going on they were about to expire, so I used some on 50% clearance, and some later on 90% off, so after the ECBs it was just a few cents.

A box of Cheerios we had had this little freebie in it...great little bonus item.

Found some fun stuff at Mighty Dollar.  I had been wanting tweezers for some of my boxes, thought theses were a decent price & should try them.  Also got the chalk board to try (haven't got a chance yet) as I know in some countries a chalk board might be better than paper.  The whistles were fun additions for my dad's 10-14 boy boxes...we had some plastic cones that cost less, but thought these would be fun.  The kite will be a little tricky to fit in, but it's normally a $5-$10 kite for a $1.

I got all theses new/like new items at a thrift store for a quarter each, except the pins that were $1, I plan to split them up into sewing kits for the older girls boxes at the church packing parties.

The fabric Frisbees fold up into these cute little packets!

Finally,  when we went on vacation, we took our own soap, so we could save the bars for OCC...ended up being these super cute leaf shaped ones!!  Since they're small, I'll probably put them in as bonus bars, or with another small bar.

Spent from shoebox packing budget: $12.29 

Added to stockpile:
  •  2 tote bags
  • 4 fun headbands
  • 1 jump-rope
  • 2 art kits
  • 1 decorative eraser
  • 1 little bonus item
  • 1 small kite
  • 4 metal whistles
  • 1 slate and chalk kit
  • 2 tweezers
  • 7 stuffed animals
  • 5 Frisbees
  • 8 wooden peg games
  • 3 balls
  • 1000 pins
  • 2 bars soap 
If you are interested, we have shared in a post the different ways we find extra money for spending on our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

A Missionary in Zambia Shares Stories and Advice from OCC Shoebox Distributions

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 Jennifer Carpenter of The Carpenter's Mission:

Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution in Zambia.
It is really quite amazing how OCC played a key part in God leading us to leave the US and serve overseas in Zambia!

A number of years ago, we were experiencing a very financially challenging time in which my husband had been laid off from his job. It was October and it was time to do shopping for our shoeboxes. We had two young children at the time. I gave it a lot of thought because we really didn’t have enough funds but I wanted to teach my children to give, even when it is

May Item of the Month for OCC Shoeboxes ~ Hygiene Items

Operation Christmas Child shoebox item of the month:  hygiene items.Samaritan's Purse has suggested items of the month for packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, and for May it is Hygiene items.  This is one of the things you can put in your OCC shoebox that can have an immediate and great impact on the health of the children who get our boxes.  Hand washing can help prevent many diseases including those that kill thousands of children worldwide daily.  That bar of soap & wash cloth you put in might help the child who gets it and their family avoid infection.  Oral hygiene can protect teeth, increasing the verity of food the child can eat, and help their overall nutrition and health.  Even though in USA we can't send toothpaste anymore, we can send toothbrushes, and dentists say that is what is really important. So, will you consider adding hygiene items to your box this year?  It might literally save the life of the child who gets it!  

And, while maybe not lifesaving, items like combs, brushes, and stick (not liquid)

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