Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes! {Sharing our Frugal Finds}

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Every year, our family loves putting together shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child!

It has been such a special tradition for my boys, hubby and I to gather up goodies and pack up shoeboxes for children in impoverished countries, that might not otherwise even receive a gift!

As Frugal Girls, it’s easy for us all to stumble across great deals and freebies, and this is such a great way to give back to others and share our frugal finds!

And now, you can even join Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty when you put together your own Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes!  Check out this fun video below…


Boxes Can Include:

Finger Puppet Sets on Sale

Operation Christmas Child Box IdeasBe sure to check your local Hobby Lobby for deals!

Hobby Lobby Flip Flops

Just look at how excited these kiddos in Bogota, Columbia were when they received their gifts…

If you’d like to participate, here’s what you’ll need to do:

Have YOU ever packed a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child?

What are some things you like to include when packing your shoeboxes??

Leave a comment and share!



  1. Catherine Kraft says

    Some of the things I have put in my boxes are: color book, crayons, colored pencils, fancy shoelaces (can use for hair ties), stuffed animals, combs, fun pencils with pencil sharpener, kids pack kleenex, hard candy and suckers, hair accessories, card games – like old maid, paddle and balls, nerf balls, trucks/cars, small dolls, doll clothes, wash cloths, cute socks, balloons, gloves, beads and yarn.

  2. says

    Thank you for promoting OCC!!! I have a year round blog on OCC, Shoeboxes of Love, at klamathocc.blogspot.com and try and post savings so others can be frugal too as they create their boxes… and I have ideas and crafts and impact stories too. I shared your post… thanks again.

  3. Phyllis says

    I find it amazing what NEW items are available at garage sales for 25 cents. That’s where I get all of my coloring books, pencils, Match Box cars, etc. and even socks and underwear in the package. This saves a lot of money which can go toward postage. Why wait to the last minute and buy from the dollar stores.

  4. Kristi says

    We have been packing boxes for many years. Some things that we do:

    – pack hard candies (never chocolate unless it’s a Tootsie Roll) in a Ziplock bag. They’ll reuse the bag too.
    – Don’t pack gummy vitamins (or any kind of medicine) as they might think they are candy and eat them all at once which could make them sick.
    – We tend to think that the kids getting these boxes only live in warmer climates, but kids in former USSR countries (where it’s cold) also receive boxes. Socks, mittens/gloves, and hats are a good idea.
    – Many churches hand out cardboard boxes from Samaritan’s Purse which are fine, but if you can afford it, use a plastic shoebox instead so the kids can use it to store things.
    – Hit the clearance section of the Toy department. Remember that something that might seem “weird” to your kids (like a Teletubbies action figure) could be the coolest thing this child ever received.
    Hope these ideas help!

  5. Jodie S. says

    Our family makes boxes each year with our church. Some things that are always in our boxes are washclothes, soap, combs, toothpaste, toothbrush, hair bands for the girls, jump ropes, yo-yos,toy cars, dolls, stuffed animals, stickers, coloring books, notebooks, pencils, crayons. I shop year round in the clearance sections to make our boxes. I never include toys that need batteries because I feel bad they may never get to use it again properly when the batteries run out.

  6. says

    At our Church we use cardboard boxes ( we wrapped them our ourselves), plastic shoe boxes and the ones the
    occ provided. I try to think of something new each year to buy for my shoeboxes. This year I learn you send Mimi umbrella s.

  7. says

    I love doing the Christmas box every year, it makes me so happy to know that I can make a little munchkin happy :) I like to buy the plastic shoebox sized containers at the dollar store because I know they can reuse them and store stuff in them. I like to always give toothbrushes and toothpaste and a washcloth then I find a stuffed animal and toys the fit the age group. I like to put in pens and paper as well as a coloring book and crayons. I go to the dollar store for most of my stuff because you can find some excellent deals there. I also always put in travel soaps and some hard candies. Throughout the year I also find toys on clearance that will fit in the box and save those to put in. My daughter is 3 now and I am super excited to share this with her and have her help me pick out stuff. It is one of the best traditions I could ever think of starting in my family!

    • says

      We worked many years in the Philippines. One of our projects was with street kids. When these kids receive an OCC box they are overwhelmed! Most of these kids have never owned a single item – not even a toothbrush – that they could call their own. To have a box of items! Oh, my! We are thankful for every person/family who pack OCC boxes every year. May God bless you!

  8. Nickie says

    My husband helped load a plane one year full of shoeboxes for Samaritan’s purse. One of the things that another volunteer told us was to use shoebox size plastic boxes (you can buy at the dollar store, rather than using actual shoeboxes.) The reason for doing this is because many of the kids only receive 1 meal per day which consists of a rice/mush type food. It is usually hot and quite often the kids don’t have anything to carry their food in so they use their hands. When the food is placed in their hands quite often they end up spilling some of their food because of how hot it is. If you would rather use a shoebox then please consider buying plastic bowls for your shoebox. Even little bowls that you find in the baby section at most stores would be helpful for these kids to carry their food.

  9. Susan Smith says

    I volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and have found a lot of items for shoeboxes, including the boxes! While many of our donations are used, we do receive new items, too. These items are very inexpensive, and by purchasing them, I also help to fulfill the goals of Habitat for Humanity!

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