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The Right Way to Pack Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

So, there's a lot of opinions on the internet of the "right" or "correct" way to pack Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.  Sometimes it can be overwhelming-it seems like almost every item is being argued for and against, restrictions on exactly what form of that item you should send, and the list of "needed" things and super important sometimes seems so long you couldn't fit it in a suitcase let alone a shoebox!!  

Well, if you are in the USA I'm here to simplify it for you, straight from official OCC website (as of April 2018):
  • "Start with an average-size cardboard or plastic shoebox. If you want to wrap it, cover the box and lid separately...
  • Decide whether you will pack a box for a girl or a boy, and the age category: 2–4, 5–9, or 10–14...
  • Select a medium to large “wow” item such as a soccer ball with pump or stuffed animal...
  • Fill with other fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies...
  • Pray for the child who will receive your gift... 
  • You can also include a personal note and photo...
  • Label and... include $9 donation per shoebox...
  • Take your shoebox gift to a local drop-off location during National Collection Week." (https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/pack-a-shoe-box/)  
  • Make sure you don't send "Candy; toothpaste; gum; used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; seeds; fruit rolls or other fruit snacks; drink mixes (powdered or liquid); liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans." (From OCC - for more specifics check out FAQs)
That's it!  If you follow those simple instructions, you're doing it right!  Don't worry about other things you read on the internet, you are doing it right!!!

Relax, pray about what to send, and enjoy it!! Don't get me wrong, I love to read distribution stories, item reviews, look at packed OCC shoeboxes, get ideas how to fit more in the shoeboxes, etc. to get ideas of what I feel would be "best", but this is not right/wrong.  The only wrong thing is to go against OCC's official regulations (or if you feel led to send something specific within those regulations), as long as you're following that, you're good!  Now, if you'd like to know a little more info/ideas about what OCC thinks about what to pack in their boxes, they do have a little more ideas to share. 

First, they have a rather extensive ideas list for each age/gender group you can click through and get plenty of ideas.  

Another way to get ideas is to look at what they put in the shoeboxes you can pack online and see what it puts in.  For instance, I-for research purposes-went through the steps (but didn't check out) to "pack" a box for a 10-14 boy.  It would have Toothbrush, Comb, Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Crayons, Coloring Pad, Notebook, Pens, Colored Pencils; Wow item (ball, toy car, soccar ball and pump, or baseball and glove); 2 of the following small toys (harmonica, Frisbee, wooden train whistle, Etch-a-sketch, Yo-yo, mini car, ball, whistle, or recorder flute);  and 3 accessories (flashlight, flip-flops, rubber band bracelets, watch, socks, shirt, calculator, or sunglasses).

If you follow the year-round packing idea list from OCC, this is what your box would have in it: 
   January --  Hats, Gloves and/or Scarves            July --  Clothing
    February --  Accessories       August --  School Supplies    
    March --  Quality Crafts       September --  Games
    April --  Stuffed Animals       October --  Letter & Photo   
    May --  Hygiene Items       November --  $9 Donation   
    June --  Toys    December --  Prayer

But remember, the only right/wrong part of packing is in bold above-that is the only requirements/official guidance.  EVERYTHING else is ideas, and ideas ONLY!! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Very well stated. Easy to follow.

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