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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

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As we get into October, it’s time to really start to get focused on packing Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Boxes.  This is my families favorite outreach, and has really helped us get into the holiday spirit each year.  What a better way to teach your kids about Christmas, than letting them help pack boxes of gifts for kids that will never get a present any other way.  This will be our fourth year packing boxes, and every year we get more organized and more into it!

If this is your first time hearing about it, then let me share the basics.

Your family can pack a shoebox filled with little things that any kid would love and need.  There are collection sites all over the US, and from their your gift is processed and shipped to any one of a number of countries.  Last year they even got boxes in undisclosed areas that had never let them in!  Boxes go out to over 100 different countries, reaching over 5,000,000 kids last year alone.

I had the joy of passing out boxes in Haiti last year, and my life was changed.  These kids have such joy, but yet they have nothing.  We went into a dirt floor school room packed with over 100 children, they had no clue what we were there for, but were so eager to please us.  They even sang happy birthday to my husband who was back in the states.  As we passed out boxes the kids were literally leaping out of the seats they were so excited over crayons, and toy cars.  Their thankfulness and joy made most of us cry, and is a moment that I will never forget.

If you plan ahead the cost is very minimal, but I promise the rewards are great.  Each Wednesday for the next 6 weeks I will give you a list of the top deals around town that would be perfect for a box.  Some things to look out for:

Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Bar Soap
Wash Towel (I like the ones that are super shrunk and grow they get wet- they are $1 at Dollar Tree)
Stickers
Sun Glasses
School Supplies
Little Toys

After you are done packing your box they ask for a $7 donation to help with shipping costs.  It is not required, but it helpful.  I would encourage you to make your donation online, and then you’ll get to follow your box all the way to it’s destination country.  We’ve turned that into a school lesson, taking the time to learn about the countries our boxes have traveled too. We packed 8 boxes last year and they ended up in 6 different countries!

To get more ideas, watch a video I made with OCC last year, discussing tips for packing a frugal show box:

    • Couponashley25

      How do you register for your kids to get a christmas box? If you can help let me know Thank you!!!

      • Heather

        The shoeboxes go to children in other countries who are in need from my understanding.  However, there are tons of churches and your local social services offices who can help you sign up for other things if your children (or children you know) are in need during the holidays.

      • Crystalgoodwin3

        These boxes are not for US children.
        These boxes go to children all over the world who basicly have nothing. This is a charity that was started by Billy Graham’s son.
        I can’t remember his name right now. What a great idea!

        • Pikkewyn

          I think some do go to US children who are very poor like those living in Appalachia or on reservations, but most do go to other countries. 

      • Mom_4_Him

        In addition to OCC, our family of 8, volunteers with the Salvation Army every year.  They help LOCAL families who are in need.  You can contact them and if you meet their qualifications, they can help!!! 

    • Negritavelez

      We are doing this for 4 years to and my kids are very excited, we already have a lots of things to pack:)

    • Heather

      I just wanted to say that because of you and your posts, me and my 2 children have been touched TREMENDOUSLY by this project.  I have since collected misc. items on sale for months – all on sale/clearanced and we have items to fill over 40 shoebox (we will use the $1 containers from Big Lots as they are a gift themselvers).  I have even gotten my company (a large organization) into it and will be sending an announcement about it hopefully within the next 2 weeks.  I will be heading that up.

      You will never know how much seeing this on your site has touched me!  My goal is to fill each shoebox container for under $10.  There are TONS of local sales with items from 1 cents – 25 cents at craft stores, Dollar General stores, Drug stores, etc.  To save more money, I have created a template for boy/girl coloring books, pads of paper, etc.  I even created a checklist for each bin so that I know the essentials to go in each.

      I’m a single mother, sons dad passed away 2 years ago… so this is a great way to save money and help the kids understand that 1) they should appreciate what they have and 2) they should be more open to serving others and getting involved.

      If anyone would like copies of what I have made, and any helpful details/sales going on that I have made a list on.. feel free to email.  :)  ngtr410@yahoo.com

      Thanks again for contributing :)

    • Julie

      I do this every year and volunteer going through the shoeboxes in Atlanta.  But I was wondering Jenny… how do you actually get to deliver the boxes?  I’ve always wanted to do that…  Do you have to know someone?

    • Julie

      I do this every year and volunteer going through the shoeboxes in Atlanta.  But I was wondering Jenny… how do you actually get to deliver the boxes?  I’ve always wanted to do that…  Do you have to know someone?

    • KR

      Years ago I packed my first shoe box at the last minute to turn in at church,spending about $40.  So, I began collecting for the next year as the seasonal items went on clearance at drug stores etc.  In the past few years I have collected items after holidays, school sales etc. Now I usually do 50+. 

    • KR

      Thanks Jenny for posting ideas for Operations Christmas Child.  The more the better!  Franklin Graham has given so many of us an opportunity to reach children and their families around the world.  It is the most awesome ministry and allows folks like me to participate and reach children that may have never received a gift.  Even though we all can’t go far away we can serve from home. 

    • Abaldy2

      this is the first time I have heard about this! what a great charity!!! I cannot wait to fill boxes for this. :) thank Jenny !

    • Pikkewyn

      Not everything you pack has to be store-bought. You can pack some homemade craft items as long as they meet their other guidelines. Pinterest is a great place to get ideas for making gifts such as hair accessories for girls or small stuffed toys. I’m not very good at that kind of thing, but some of you might be. You wouldn’t want to pack stuff like homemade food or personal hygiene items, of course.

    • Hartmanmel35

      Our youth group at church is doing this for the first time this year.  As one of the youth group leaders, I’m looking so forward to doing this!  The church is donating items in October and we’re having a church wide pack day the week before delivery!  So excited to help with this worthy cause this year!