Easy Giving: Filling a Shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

Posted on 10/29/2013

As the Christmas season approaches opportunities to give seem to pop up everywhere. Sometimes the pull at your pocketbook (and your heartstrings) can be overwhelming. But for an easy, and low cost way to impact the life of a child in need check out Operation Christmas Child. Since 1993 more than 100 million shoe boxes full of gifts have been distributed to needy children around the world. Follow these simple steps to be a part of this worthwhile effort.

Find a Box
Operation Christmas Child starts with a shoe box. You probably have an empty one stashed in your closet. Feel free to wrap it with festive paper, but be sure to wrap the top and bottom separately. If you don't have wrapping paper, or don't have the time to do it, that's OK too.

Take Your Pick
You'll need to decide whether your box will be for a boy or a girl. You'll also have to choose an age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out a label and make your selections.

Free Toiletries
Toiletries are a practical gift to include in your shoebox. Give freebies you picked up during a hotel stay or use coupons to score free travel-sized products. Ask your dentist for free toothbrushes and toothpaste to include in your boxes.

Cheap Candy
It's a great time to score unsold Halloween candy at deep discounts. Look for hard candies, suckers, mints and gum. Avoid candy that could melt during transit. And OCC suggests double bagging all candy treats.

Discount Toys
Check clearance markdowns for low cost, small toys at places like CVS, Target or Dollar General. Claire at MummyDeals.org says she's found toys for just ten cents on clearance at these places.

Low Cost School Supplies
Pens, pencils, crayons and other school supplies also make good items for shoeboxes. Peruse the clearance bins at office supply stores like Staples and Office Depot. This week Crayola products are buy one get one free at Toys R Us. Combine that with this printable coupon for $1 off Washable Markers to score a great shoebox stuffer.

Donate $7 for Shipping
Since the shoe boxes are destined for places like Cameroon and Papua New Guinea funds are needed to pay for shipping. When you make a $7 donation online you'll get to "Follow Your Box." This means you'll get a printable barcode that sends you an email so you know where your box ends up. This is a neat way to track your giving.

Drop Off Your Box
National Collection Week is November 18-25. Find an Operation Christmas Child collection point near you by visiting SamaritansPurse.org. And feel good knowing you're making the holidays brighter for a needy child.

Shop at Walgreens to get even more shoebox fillers. Use coupon code 20TREAT to get 20% off your entire order. Offer ends 11/02/2013.

* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.

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