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Pencil Granny & Friends Fillers for Operation Christmas Child

If you read this blog, you'll probably have read me mentioning that you can send fillers to the Processing Centers for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  Basically, some boxes that come through the inspection line have to have something taken out because the packer misunderstood the instructions and there's a hole in the box.  A great example of this would be a box I saw with and apple and orange in it.  Great for a stocking, not so great for a box that may take a month to get to another country.  When something has to be taken out it is replaced with something else.  Also, sometimes a box comes through that doesn't have to have anything taken out, but is pretty empty.  Maybe the packer was poor and gave all they could, maybe they misunderstood and thought they could only put one item in, or maybe someone got sidetracked trying to hit a certain number of boxes packed rather than packing full boxes.   Samaritan's Purse accepts donations, so in either of these cases, the volunteers will have something to fill the boxes for the children.

The Pencil Granny & Friends is a group of people on Facebook who has seen the need for this filler and has a burden to provide school supplies for children.  They act on this by making pencil packs to send as filler that can be put in boxes needing something else. In many countries, school supplies are required to attend school, and these packs may literally give a child what they need to get an education. 

How I personally decide how many to pack is how many spare pencil cases I have left at the end of my personal shoebox packing.  Some I've bought because I thought they'd be good for this project, some are sewn or crochet, but as you can see, there's a lot of variety-also what goes in depends a little on what fits.  And just like the shoeboxes I pack, often they end up having a theme.  I like to try to add small extras as well.  Depending on what I find.  For instance, I bought combs in a giant lot, so I put one in each bag.  You can see the sports one has a "gold medal" in it, etc.  I even fit a little stuffed animal in one.

Then I took them to the drop off location in a small box clearly labeled Fillers and Gifts-in-Kind, and they had a carton at the drop off to put it into to send to the processing center.  It's important to be sure it's not mistaken for it's own shoebox-haha!

If this interests you, be sure to check out The Pencil Granny & Friends Facebook page!  And if you're interested in the quality of various pencils, check out our Pencil Brand Reviews.

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