November 6, 2017

Organization of Crafting Wish Lists for 2018 Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Sarah has done such a great job shopping the last couple of years for our shoeboxes that we have packed more than expected.  If this is to continue for the 2018 Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing year I need to get my crafting in full gear!  I decided to try to get super organized so I can sew hundreds of things for our shoeboxes for 2018.  Thankfully I have 85% of what I need to craft with.  I will need to buy some supplies, but I have a big chunk of it on hand.

2 to 4 year old girl Operation Christmas Child shoebox
My 2 to 4 year old OCC shoeobxes awaiting rubber bands.
As we've shared before, we have four packers in our family and we have assigned one age to each person.  I do the 2 to 4 year old girl shoeboxes, Sarah does the 10 to 14 year old girls, my husband does the 10 to 14 year old boys and his cousin (who is more like a sister to him and an aunt to Sarah) is in charge of the 2 to 4 year old boys.  I sent an email asking for their wishlist for hand made items for their
shoeboxes in order of importance.  From their answers I made the following chart (which includes what we already have on hand).  I thought posting on the blog was the easiest way to keep track.

  Age Group
  Item  
  Number Needed   
  Completed
  Balance  
 2 to 4 Girls
  Dress or Skirt  
30
28 
 2 to 4 Girls
  Lovey  
30
30 
 2 to 4 Girls
  Toy*  
30
30 
 2 to 4 Girls
  Tote Bag  
30
2
28 
 2 to 4 Girls
  Pencil Pouch  
30
24 
2 to 4 Boys
  Tote Bag
30 
30 
2 to 4 Boys
  Lovey
30 
15 
15 
 10 to 14 Girls**  
  Bag
30 
0  
30 
10 to 14 Boys 
  Tote Bag
30
0
30  
10 to 14 Boys 
  Pencil Pouch
30
30  
Totals 

300
25
275  
*I hope to try to make some toys this year. They will take longer to make so I will have to see how it goes.
**Sarah does each shoebox very personal so she is not sure what she wants for each.  I just added 30 bags since I know she will want some library bags and some pencil pouches made in theme fabric, but she will also come up with other things.  I just wait until she puts an order in to make hers (like this one from a few years back).

I have decided to estimate 30 shoeboxes per age.  I really have no idea until packing time when Sarah lays it all out how many will be packed.  And I am taking a whole new approach to my shoebox packing this year, trying to earn money and buying my fillers separately from the family packing budget.  So I really have no idea where it will lead me, and it will also leave more funds for the other ages, which could mean more shoeboxes.  But to have a starting point I will aim toward 30.

Crochet pencil pouches donated by Chelle's Caybees.  Image courtesy of Chelle.
                      
I have put the full 30 for pencil pouches even tho we will have many donated that Chelle will crochet for us.  I figure if I reach my goal the packers can choose from either hers or mine and the leftovers of either (or both) will be used to make school supply fillers to send directly to Operation Christmas Child--if I don't reach my goal we will need to use all of hers.  And if we don't reach the 30 shoeboxes per age I will also be able to send fillers of the other items I have made over what we pack.

Crafting supplies for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes
What confidence!  I even have a Bankers Box with a label awaiting finished pencil pouches!
My first step was organizing the already cut out pencil pouches (about 100). I have them separated by gender with extra linings and casings cut waiting for "special orders" of a certain outer fabric someone may want to choose--such as Sarah for one of her many themed shoeboxes.  I also have dozens of drawstring sets all cut and ready as well as several packages of narrow, double fold bias tape, donated by Chelle, that I will sew shut and cut into drawstrings.  I also have para cord Sarah found for $1 that makes great drawstrings--I may save it for larger bags tho.   By having this all ready I can grab four or five sets and sew production line fashion using the kite-tailing method (any more than five and I am too easily bored).  I can sew so many more in the same amount of time.

I figure I need to sew about an item a day--especially since we always end up adding something more and I'll miss some days!  Thankfully I had some leftovers from last year on hand.  I started new sewing with these six pencil pouches for my 2 to 4 year old girl shoeboxes.  I have always included a few school supplies in this age, but now I include more since receiving an email from the mother of a little girl who received one of my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  She thanked me specifically for the school supplies as the little girl would start school the next year.  Many children around the world can't attend school because of the expense of supplies is too great.

Do you have a plan for 2018 OCC shoebox packing or do you like to wing it?  Are you crafting for your shoeboxes?  What do you make?

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