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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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Over a month ago Operation Christmas Child and I put out a challenge for all of you: to make the Most Awesome Gift Box.  There was a list of specific requirements and even a rubric for how they would be judged (who said you were done with school once you graduated?).  The winner had to meet the criteria for entry, have the most unique item, the best value in items, and creativity in personalization.

After the post, we received some absolutely incredible entries from many of you.  I am really proud of all my Southern Savers who stepped up to the challenge on this one!  Unfortunately we can only choose one of them to win the $300 Visa Gift Card, but congratulations to everyone who entered for doing great work.

So…here it is.  Drumroll please.

(how cool to make the inside of the box a present too!)

The winner, after a month of entries and sorting through all the shoe boxes, is dandcrowe@.  Congratulations; your $300 gift card will be on the way soon!  Good work everyone and thanks for supporting Operation Christmas Child!

Here are some excerpts from the winners entry:

1)  My free item is also unique:  it is the original painting on the front of the photo album.  It was given to me by my friend, Katie Faerber, who based her work on paintings from The Nativity by Francesca Crespi.  I told her what I was planning to do with the shoe box and she gladly shared it with me.  I painted the inside of the box to resemble the stable in the painting and cut apart figures to laminate and make into finger puppets…

2) The receipts will show that the candy was all 50 cents or less.  Several other items (like the kaleidoscope, rings, balls, etc.) were also less than 50 cents…

3) First, I participated in Operation Christmas Child for several years, often wondering if my box might actually reach a child who would later be adopted by me and my husband.  I have stood in front of the pile of shoe boxes being collected by the school where I work and prayed and cried, feeling like Hannah, wondering when my time would finally come.  Two years ago, God brought a four year old boy from India into my family.  It was lovely to pack a box with his help!

There were so many amazing entries that the folks at Operation Christmas Child narrowed it down to the top 10 and then had all of the office staff vote for the best one.  I’m amazed reading some of the stories that they sent me and looking at the pictures.  You guys are way too creative!!!

A picture what was in another box in the top 4:

You still have until Saturday to get boxes dropped off at a location near you, so get packing!

    • Oliveplants

      What a precious story!

    • Tonya

      Congrats, you did a great job!!

    • Sparklecat2009

      Congratulations!!!! Awesome idea!

    • Couponclipper1986


      Can anyone tell me if you have to pay the $7 for each box?

      We filled a lot more boxes than planned, and its going to cost more than we are able to spend right now. I am happy to send the $7 for the ones we can afford, but was wandering if they would still take them if I didn't include money.

      Thanks so much!

      • ask where you plan to drop off – a number of churches don't require a pmt, they sponsor boxes.

        • Couponclipper1986

          Okay, thanks everyone! :)

      • Renep22

        it says in the instructions that only one donation of $7 is needed even if you bring multiple boxes.

        • Deenassaving

          I think that says that you only need to put payment in one box and not write several checks for several boxes.

      • Brandy

        Or if you have any close friends or family…explain the situation just as you did with us, and I'm sure some would love to help and even track the boxes to their destinations. If I knew someone doing one I would offer to help…we helped with boxes for troops through our daughter's school instead this year and with a little girl in my daughter's class whose house just burned down a couple of weeks ago. Or donate the boxes to a school…I'm sure they can find children who could use them. I know the family whose house burned sure would appreciate anything right now.

      • Deenassaving

        Ask a friend to donate shipping. I did this one year with a friend who ran out of time to get items and I mentioned that I had a lot of items to fill several boxes so she just paid the shipping and i bought the stuff.

      • mom624

        Yes, they will take the boxes. If it makes you feel better this year we were able to donate shipping costs for 7 more boxes than we sent.

      • Occ2010

        It's more about filling the shoeboxes. Samaritans purse gets many corporate donations that help with shipping.

    • WynetteC

      Very nice!!! Each box has its own unique story behind how God uses that to touch someone's life. Isn't life great? :)

    • That is awesome – what a creative and giving entrant!! :)

    • Rjcj10

      I believe the winning box was a good choice! Congratulations!! It seems that just as with Hannah God in his timing brought a precious little boy into your life and now you have the privilege of teaching him the blessing that comes from giving to others.

    • Funnygirl

      I love the winning box! What a great idea for next year!

    • Joan

      What a beautiful box! What a beautiful child! And what a beautiful mother's heart! “How beautiful are the feet of those….”

    • Modmia

      Woohoo!! what a great box!

    • Melanieplynch

      Congratuations! What a creative, Christ-honoring shoebox!

    • HANNAH050603

      BEAUTIFUL! I love it! Yes, a very Christ-honoring shoebox!

    • brooke lane

      amazing! definitely well deserved!

    • Jess

      Jenny, I have to tell you how much fun I had filling my boxes! I had heard of this organization, but never really knew how to get involved until I saw your posts. I have prayed for my recipients & am so excited to see where they end up. I can't wait to start 'collecting' goodies for my boxes for next year…I just kind of bypassed all those back-to-school sales this year b/c I don't really have any need for school supplies, but I do now!! I had the most fun picking stuff out for my girl boxes..I have a little boy & just had the most fun picking out fun hair bows and the girliest, pinkest, most princess-y stuff I could find! Thanks for sharing this!!! How fun to think of all the kids that will get boxes b/c you took the time to put it on your site!! May God Bless You!

    • Patti

      I am so thrilled that MY friend's box won first place!!! She and her family are awesome and deserve the money! THank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Freemn4

      What a great idea! So creative! Congrats!

    • Mominator11

      I wish you could post more pictures of the top winners. After seeing what some people did, I'm even more excited for next year! We packed 3 this year….none of them looked anywhere as good as either of these but my kids had a blast planning each box!

    • Mominator11

      By the way, I have an adopted daughter from Russia who received OCC boxes while in the orphanage. It was so amazing to hear first hand how much these boxes meant to the kids and to her. The favorite thing they would get…..CANDY!

    • Crafty_cat_86

      I thought that idea was sooo cool! Congrats!

    • L Sherril

      thank you for sharing this great opportunity. I just packed 3 boxes mostly with free items I was able to obtain through your website. I cried packing the boxes thinking of the child who will open the box.. I am inspired to go out and make sure I get more items to fill more boxes before the deadline.Thank you so much for all you do it warms my heart to be able to donate to others because I am so blessed to have found your website and save so much money on weekly expenses……..

    • Luci

      This is the first year we've made a box. Heard about it before, but was really reminded each time we played Veggies Tales St. Nicholas. Our 3 year old asked lots of questions thinking that I met the little girl already when I delivered our box to the workshop. Hoping to do this again so I can help her learn more about the world with a positive experience.

    • Ssalabarria

      Because shoeboxes have been a part of our family for the past 10 years, I ALWAYS stock up for them during the year, especially when school starts back! I get all the great deals on crayons, pencils, notebooks, etc. I probably spend more on the shipping than the contents inside the boxes :)