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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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Operation Christmas Child

on 11.16.2009 at 6:48pm

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.


Your mission should you accept it, go into your pantry, and cabinets and put some of your freebies to good use!

This is the week to get your Operation Christmas Child boxes put together and dropped off.  These are so easy to make and are a wonderful Christmas present for so many kids.

Get instructions for putting a box together and then find a drop off location in your city.  This is drop off week so make sure you get it in by November 23rd.

Here are some ideas for your box from their website:

small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), Slinky®, etc.

pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.

toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.

Hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps; sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries)

In a separate envelope, you may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family. (If you include your name and address, the child may write back.)

    • Erinn

      This is such a wonderful way to give back! My family and I participate every year!

    • I turned in my 4 boxes yesterday. What a blessing this ministry is to my family and me! Thanks for reminding your readers of this awesome mission opportunity. Also thanks for all you do for us, Jenny!

    • Amber

      We will be doing one of both. The boys making a boys box, the girls making a girls box.

    • Jennifer

      Anybody know where I can get a box in the Antioch, TN area? I’ve done this in the past and I would love to participate again.

      • Shea

        I live in Bellevue and our YMCA was collecting. You might check with your nearest Y.

      • Lisa

        You may also use a regular shoe box if you don’t have access to the marked OCC cardboard boxes. You can choose to wrap your box in wrapping paper, but it is not required. The shoe-box sized plastic bins are also acceptable. I found a fantastic clearance deal on these earlier in the year at CVS.

    • Maehing O

      Couponing is a gift… not everyone can keep up, so for thoes of us who can… PAY IT FORWARD! Thanks Jenny…. just another wonderful way to share the love!

    • Gina

      I was so glad to see you that you posted this on the site! This is a wonderful ministry opportunity! I encourage you to put a note in your box with your address. My husband and I did last year and we received a letter a couple months ago from the family that got our box! It was so neat to see how God used our box to minister to others!

    • Andrea

      My children and I collected items for 10 boxes this year. We collect items all year long for OCC. We use coupons to purchase the items and we usually only spend $10 per box, but they are filled with wonderful things; toothpaste and toothbrushes, school supplies that I purchased during the pre-school sales in August, socks, hair clips, candy etc. It feels so good to use my couponing skills to give back to a child who otherwise will not have a gift to open. It also teaches my children a valueable lesson about helping others. Thank you Jenny for mentioning this wonderful ministry!

    • Tara

      OK, I loved you before but now you are a woman after my own heart!!! I love OCC and packed 6 boxes without paying for toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, or school supplies. :)

    • Adele

      We are participating in several packing events for OCC. For anyone in Spartanburg, the Hillcrest Chic Fil A is giving a free children’s meal if you bring your shoe box in tomorrow (Tuesday). Our MOPS group is having a packing event on Thursday.

      • Andrea

        Where is this CFA located? I would like to drop off another box and it would be great to drop it off at this location. Thanks!

    • Tara

      Oh… another idea. OCC is a great way to get rid of hard candy left from Halloween. We pack a snack-size Ziploc full for each box.

    • Heather A

      Loved this ministry! We blessed our boxes in church yesterday. Next year I was think instead of one to do five. Thanks for posting the item list- let’s reference this next time we come across sales!

    • Christine W

      Our Girl Scout troop sent two boxes today. This was our first year to do one but I think we’ll continue.

    • Denise

      Our Brownie Troop did 16 boxes today to send off. We did 10 last year. The girls really enjoy writing letters and packing the boxes.

    • Samantha

      Thanks for posting this Jenny! My family just turned our boxes in at church yesterday. I absolutely love this ministry and it’s so refreshing to see it posted here! By the way, you can now track your boxes online if you add your monetary donation that way… Just go to http://www.samaritanspurse.org and click on Follow Your Box. It will walk you through and you can print your labels at the end. We did it this way this year and I can’t wait to see where our boxes end up!

    • Nancy

      Thanks for passing on the encouragement to others. I packed many shoe boxes and always try to share many of my freebies that God blesses me with.

    • Jenny

      Thank you so much for sharing about this–I’d never heard of it before, but it sounds a like a wonderful opportunity to give to children in need, as well as teach our own children about giving to others. Thank you! My husband and I are planning a ‘family box night’ tomorrow evening . . .

    • Did it! Woo Hoo! Ours had to be turned into church by last Wednesday. We did 3 boxes this year, one for each child I have in AWANAS and my middle school child did one with his youth group.

      Let me tell you what happened last year. Money was TIGHT! I used stock piled items plus each of my kids took $5 of their own money to fill 3 boxes. The problem came with the shipping. It would cost us $21 to ship the boxes. We just didn’t have it. I decided we would just skip it, but my heart (My God whispered to me) kept saying “Your children have SO MUCH! They are getting SO MUCH MORE for Christmas. How can you NOT do it?” So I said, Okay. We’ll do it. I don’t know how, but we will find a way. A few days later, I went to get in the car when a man stopped by our house. He said “I drive by your house all the time and I’ve noticed that you have an old lawnmower in the corner of your yard. Would you be willing to sell it?” Of course I said yes (it was junk to me) but I had no idea how much to ask. He said, “Will you take $25?” I sure did!

      Right there God provided the money to ship those boxes. I didn’t know how we’d get the money, but He did!

      • Jennifer

        I must say your story made my eyes tear up. Isn’t God just great?! We take for granted all the wonderful things we have in our lives. Thanks for sharing your story Julie.

      • lynn

        i think most of us can relate god can never be out done and he has greater plans for us than we could ever imagine for our selfs…..with faith and trust we can conquer all thanks for sharing

      • Carrie

        Thank you for sharing that, :) God is always good.

    • teresa

      If you are in the Charleston, SC area and would like to make a box you can drop it off at Charleston Baptist Church. We are a relay center for Operation Christmas Child. We need boxes because soo many children get turned away because they do not have enough boxes for all the children. Won’t you help?

    • Brittany L.

      Thanks Jenny, My daughters school particpates every year this year we are doing 1 box for a boy and 1 for a girl! We are gonna decorate our on boxes, and we are using some “My Lil Ponies” that we got yesterday from Toyrus and som hot wheel cars, also so little nick naks we got from Dollar Tree! Thanks for sharing with other readers!

    • Catherine

      OCC is a family tradition for us. Each of my three children help with the shopping and they each fill a box for a child the same age as they are. It was so fun to use my new couponing skills this season! Thanks Jenny for promoting OCC and giving coupons to the military as well. Saving is a privilege and being able to give more is one of the wonderful benefits!

    • so glad you included this mission on your website! just a note from one who volunteers at one of the packaging and distribution centers to prepere to boxes for shipping overseas . . . using the plastic shoe boxes that you can get from the dollar store or other such places is great! they pack in the crates for shipping really well and don’t get crushed so easily. ( and you can line them with pretty paper or tissue) and please do not include guns or war related toys! many of these boxes will go to war torn regions and this is just a reminder of sadness for these children, not a joy so they will be removed from the boxes. again, thank you for the mention and God bless all who choose to participate!

    • Philis

      My church participates in OCC every year. The elderly people give me money and I get to shop (yeah)!! It’s a lot of fun and teaches the kiddies about giving to others. It’s amazing how they deliver some of the boxes…by canoe, camel, ect….

    • Eve

      Thanks for posting this! Last month I heard a testimony from a lady who received a shoebox as a teenager in Bosnia. Everyone in our church was bawling. It was such an amazing story of how God can use such a simple gift in a life changing way! Motivated me to pack even more!

    • Lisa

      Thanks for posting this Jenny. I have been doing this for a while now and am up to 21 boxes this year. My mother-in-law used to pack two a year, and she is up to 10 this year! OCC has become a fun topic for us, as we share or trade items between the two of us to help “complete” a box if we are missing something. Both of us look for deals throughout the year. The back-to-school sales are especially helpful for gathering items. I look for the 5, 10, 25 cent deals at CVS, Walgreens, Staples, Office Depot, Target, etc… each year. Walgreens also usually has great after-Christmas sales on items that are good for boxes (Christmas themed small toys, stickers, puzzle books, hair accessories, pens/pencils, etc…). The Dollar Tree also often stocks $1 t-shirts a couple of times a year. Even Publix will sometimes have great prices on dolls, etc… in their clearance carts.

    • Michaelene

      Our family LOVES this opportunity to focus on the needs of others and to give our kids someone else to think of around the holidays who has less than them. This year since using your site I have more toothpaste and school supplies than ever to give! Thanks again for posting this for everyone!

    • Carolyn

      Thanks, Jenny!

      I do these boxes with my children each year, and it never occured to me to use the freebies to help fill them. I will be planning ahead during the year and picking up some of the children’s items you tell us about to use for next year.

      Thanks for the great idea and all you share with us!

    • kelly bessinger

      this is such a great cause!!
      don’t forget to drop your boxs off!!
      you are changing lives when you take the extra step and the reward is u pay next to nothing in a box that is worht $20.

    • Carrie

      My daughter has had correspondence with a young girl from India for almost 3 years now. The girl received her box through Operation Christmas child, as did the rest of the children in this particular orphanage in India. This is a fabulous outreach and some (not all) have the possibility of speaking English as well as an opportunity to write back.
      Only one girl out of all the boxes we have done in the past several years has responded but that’s okay. You really are giving Christmas to a child who cannot give it back to you – and that’s the great part.

    • Melanie

      We did this at my son’s school. It was so moving for us to do this and enclose a note. My son was really excited to buy for a child that was his age.

    • Jennifer

      If you pay for the shipping for OCC boxes through their website, they will give you a special label with a bar code. Whwn the boxes are shipped out, you will get an email telling you what country your box(es) went to. My kids thought this was the coolest!

    • Miranda

      4 boxes packed and delivered to my church this week (FBC Conyers, GA). This is an amazing ministry and I love shopping and collecting items all year for these shoe boxes!

    • Denise M

      Consider this … if every man, woman, and child in the USA packed one shoe box and all of these shoe boxes were sent to India … not every child in India age 2-14 would receive a shoe box gift :(

      However, each and every shoe box gift that comes in represents a child that will receive their first Christmas gift ever!!! You are giving their first ever Christmas gift!!!

      If you have already packed your shoe boxes or if you are not able to pack one this year, would you consider dropping a bag of items at your local collection or relay center? All of these items can combine with other donations to create even more shoe box gifts!!