September 15, 2018

Get 300 bonus SB when you sign up for Swagbucks in September

All throughout September you can earn bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks.

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

I like to share about Swagbucks from time to time as I know a lot of people (myself included) have found it helpful to their personal or shoebox packing budgets, and I want to give other people the chance to find out about it.  Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart , or PayPal cash.  

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus (which you can redeem for $3 worth of most gift cards)! Here's how: 

1. Sign up using this link 

2. Earn 300 SB total before October 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it! 

3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned a lot of PayPal rewards to use on various things.
Disclosure:  Links to Swagbucks in this post are my referral links.  I also earned SB for sharing this promotion.  Thank you for using my links it helps me earn extra SB.  The extra SB helps me afford the time to write the blog and keep up the Facebook page.

September 14, 2018

Free Poster of Shoebox Item Ideas

A few years ago we made a post of ideas of things to pack in a shoebox.  It seems to have been quite popular.  We've seen it used as mini handouts for shopping ideas and blown up supper large as a poster.  With changes to banned items last year it needed updated.  I had dreams of a total re-design as a design person.  Well...I just really kept not having the time to do that, so I mainly just updated the items, here's the new one.  Please note, this is for the USA, other countries have different requirements.   Hopefully you'll find it helpful-feel free to use however you find helpful!!


You can find shoebox supply collection posters thru this link:  Shoebox Printable Resources.

September 13, 2018

Panda Themed Operation Christmas Child Shoebox for a Girl Aged 10-14 Years Old

I have packed Panda themed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child a couple different years including last year.  This one started with a little trinket box with a panda on it and a pencil case in 2016.  I kept my eye open throughout 2017.  I found a bag clip that was shaped like a Panda head, and playing cards that featured a panda.  I found a notebook with a skunk...not quite a panda, but the same kinda idea.  Plus lots of pink items, and my mom sewed a tote bag from fabric I'd picked.  Then, the day before packing, I found a stuffed panda bear to bring it all together!!  One, non-panda item, I was really excited to add was we had gotten a small radio as a prize for signing up for something, so I was able to include it (it's laying on top of the jump rope) and I'd just read the story of Dania -and- A Radio.





When we make a themed Operation Christmas Child shoebox, we don't leave out anything on our basic packing list-I still put in hygiene, school, and art supplies, clothing, whistle, etc as well as toys (including a ball and stuffed animal) with a family photo.  We just try to find versions of what we are putting in that goes with the theme and occasionally an extra item or two.  Often people find it helpful to see how the box is packed to fit everything in, so here's some photos of how these items fit in the shoebox.




For more ideas/fun boxes, check out other shoeboxes we packed for 10-14 year old girls or our themed boxes!

September 12, 2018

Containers from MDSupplies & Services Review ~ Great for OCC Shoeboxes

Many people who pack shoeboxes like to make up small kits maybe for sewing, jewelry making, fishing, etc and that requires some time of container.  Or, you may want to be sure the child has some place to store something like a Lego set, Jacks game, etc.  There are a number of options  from MDSupplies & Service's special Shoebox Shoppers order form (Disclosure: post contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on them).     MDSupplies & Services has helpfully made us who pack for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes a special order form of just items that can go in OCC shoeboxes...plus it has FREE SHIPPING!!!


They sent me some free samples to check out, and I went around my shoebox stash and saw what would fit in various ones of them to give you some ideas of size and what can fit.  Some do require pretty big lots to order, so may be better for big packing parties, but then if you were just doing a few, you probably could just save some for yourself or with friends.  Some, though, are in lots as low as 12, which would be great for doing a few boxes.  

By the way, while we can't send medicines in shoeboxes, OCC has said the medicine bottles are fine to use if they've been cleaned out, and these would never have been used!  I would probably mark over anything that said something medical though.




These are your basic medicine bottles, and they come with lids sold separately.  These are the ones that would really probably work best if you're doing a big packing party as they come in large cases.  The lids aren't child resistant which I think is probably actually nice as we're sending them to children-Haha!  The lids do seem to snap on quite well!  (Note, in the photo above, those are smaller Jacks set from Kipp Brothers, and mini thread spools from a sewing kit)  Here they are listed from smallest to largest:

Bottles with out lids:
Lids:




This option comes in three different colors  and come with caps.  The caps are reversible one way is child resistant and normal screw in lid.  The child resistant side is not too hard to open, but I'm not sure the recipients would be familiar with that concept.  Also, if you use them that way be sure not over-fill it; I did that and had to have my Dad force the lid off-haha! The normal screw side is pretty easy to get off-just be aware it screws INTO the bottle, so takes up a little space at the top.  I know some people like to use the open part of the top to make pin cushions.  (Note: these are mini sewing kit spools of thread)



This are probably my favorite bottles-really nice and sturdy!!  They have nice screw on lids.  I was especially excited when I saw the Lego type set I'd bought on clearance fit so well in the large one to make a Wow item!

These next two aren't exactly "Bottles" but are also fun to pack things in-and these are something you probably can't get from a friend-denture cases!  There are two different styles:




These Ortho Boxes - Denture, Assorted Colors (OB-2000)  $6.89 / Box of 12  are the cheaper, and smaller option.  They do have small draining holes in them.  The hinge is just a thin strip of plastic, so I'm not real sure how long it will last.  But I really had fun making different little kits with them and come in a fun assortment of colors!  They have a nice snapping close.



This is a larger/deeper option:  Ortho Boxes - Denture, Assorted Colors (OB-1000) $8.05 / Box of 12 These also come in an assortment of colors.  They don't have any drainage holes in them (as they're designed for soaking/cleaning dentures).  Their hinges are loops of plastic, and seem sturdier than did the flatter ones.  They seem to seal closed pretty well, and have little "legs" on the bottom.


Finally, here's a photo of them with a yard stick for scale:  



I hope this review helps someone...if you have any further questions, please just ask and you may want to check out the rest of my MD Supplies & Services Reviews for items appropriate for packing in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Disclaimer: I received these products free to review, but the opinions are all my own.  Links in this post to MDSupplies & Services are affiliate links and I'll be compensated if you purchase after clicking on them which helps me afford the time to review items, write the blog, and keep up the Facebook page, etc.  And I only share things I pack/think are good for shoeboxes.

September 3, 2018

John Deere Farm Themed Shoebox for 10-14 Year Old Boy

When packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, I often like to pack around a theme-in this case a John Deere/farm.  We got a John Deere hat for free, then I stumbled on a John Deere themed coloring book.  So I went from there!


When we make a themed Operation Christmas Child shoebox, we don't leave out anything on my basic packing list-I still put in hygiene, school, and art supplies, clothing, whistle, etc as well as toys (including a ball and stuffed animal) with a family photo.  We just try to find versions of what we are putting in that goes with the theme and occasionally an extra item or two.  

Thankfully we had some farm fabric out of which to sew a pencil case.  A "deer" stuffed animal and a green and yellow tractor really helped to pull the theme together.  I also found lots of green and yellow versions of items I wanted to add to the box.
Often people find it helpful to see how the box is packed to fit everything in, so here's some photos of how these items fit in the shoebox.
For more ideas/fun boxes, check out other shoeboxes we packed for boys 10-14 years or our themed boxes!

September 1, 2018

Collecting Games for Shoeboxes Poster

Samaritan's Purse has suggested items of the month for packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, and for September, that's games!  As readers have found collection posters we've made for other shoebox items helpful to share with friends, family, church members, co-workers or fellow apartment building residents.  Here's what I came up with for games.  Feel free to share however it can help with your shoeboxes.  First, here's one to share if everyone knows where to drop the items off.


Also, made one with a blank to put in drop off info:
If you like this poster, you may want to check out our other collection posters.

PLEASE NOTE:  These posters are made based on USA rules, they may include items not allowed in your country's packing requirements. 

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