How Our Family Packs a Shoe Box

It’s that time again! Shoe box collection week for Operation Christmas Child is November 16-23.

Here are step-by-step instructions of how our family packed our boxes:

Since our church participates in this ministry, we are able to grab a couple designated Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes from there. However, these would have worked too!


Determine the age and gender we want to pack boxes for. The ages are grouped into three different ranges: 2-4, 5-9, 10-14. We chose a boy 2-4 and a girl 5-9. Then pile into the car and head to the dollar store.


Before entering the store, mom gives the reminder that we are buying for other children and not for ourselves. Soon after entering the Dollar Store, we take a quick break from shopping to diffuse the tantrum initiated by the reminder that we are not shopping for ourselves.

Shoebox shopping

Once home, we unpack all our items and distribute them all over the living room floor.

shoebox packing

Take another quick break to eat the candy mom promised for allowing her to take the previous picture.

eating candy
Begin to place the items, in an orderly fashion inside each shoe box.


Our boxes contained:
Both: toothpaste, toothbrush, bar soap, wash cloth, two pairs of socks, pair of gloves, antibacterial wipes, coloring book, crayons, art pad, harmonica, small puzzle, candy
Girl: hair ties, brush, bracelets and necklace, jump rope
Boy: toy truck, paddle with ball on string, animal stickers
Total cost: $32

Here are some other ideas of what to include in a shoe box.

Another tantrum breaks loose when the toy truck is taken away and put in the shoe box. We take another break to look at pictures online of happy, smiling children who have received shoe boxes in the past. Then we discuss how happy the toy truck will make another little boy.

Operation Christmas Child

Once the boxes are full, we write a quick note for each one letting the recipient know how much they are loved by our heavenly Father. Then each family member signs it.

Here is what one of our notes said:

Hi precious girl!
Our family had so much fun putting this box together for you! We hope you enjoy all these gifts. We also said a prayer for you. We prayed that you know how much God loves you. He gave us the greatest gift when He sent His Son, Jesus to die for us. We hope this box reminds you of His love.

When daddy gets home from work, we close the shoe boxes and spend a couple minutes in family prayer for the two children who will receive them. We also pray for the ministry of Operation Christmas Child.

Praying for our shoe boxes

Then, we look-up and deliver the shoe boxes to a drop-off location with $7 per box to cover shipping costs.

Operation Christmas child shoe box

And that is it!

  3 comments for “How Our Family Packs a Shoe Box

  1. November 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    So great! Especially the melting down in the store and when you got home part. That sounds like something that will quite possibly happen when we try this =-) We have some friends that do a Shoebox Party every year where everyone puts them together as a group. We were thinking we’d like to try that this year too. Thanks for posting and sharing!


    • November 10, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      What an awesome idea!!! Love it!!! Yes, the melting down is a common event at the Dollar Store 🙂


  2. November 12, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I am predicting that this is what will happen when I go with my 4 year old (and 7 year old; but she won’t throw the tantrum). We are packing our boxes though, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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