Packing Shoeboxes

I’ll be shopping tomorrow for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and thought this would be a great time to tell you all about it.  If you’re a fellow shoebox-packer, please post a comment with some ideas of what to pack!  Inspire us!

And, please don’t forget that all this week, I’m asking for folks to chime in with ideas of how to pray for our pastors.  What do you pray?  For wisdom, vision, encouragement, health, strength and family?  Share with us and you’ll be entered in our giveaway!!!  You can find out all the details here.

Packing Shoeboxes

He was a little boy with one desire–Hot Wheels cars.

Operation Christmas Child I read this story from Operation Christmas Child (OCC) a few months ago.  The little guy looked at the OCC worker handing out the red and green shoeboxes and asked, “Will mine have Hot Wheels?”

Of course, no one can know these things.  The boxes are packed by individuals, families and churches all over and then sent to distribution centers where they’re shipped worldwide.

So, hoping for just one toy car, the boy opened up his shoebox and found it half filled with Hot Wheels cars!  The OCC worker said she’d never seen a box with that many cars and trucks in it before.

God heard this boy’s little heart’s desire and fulfilled it in miraculously abundant ways…  because He’s just so gracious and because a shoebox packer somewhere was totally obedient.

Every year, the organization Samaritan’s Purse collects shoeboxes stuffed full of goodies that they then deliver to needy children all over the globe for Christmas.

National Collection Week is in November, before Thanksgiving—this year, November 12-19! That means that we’re in the middle of prime shoebox packing season.

My kids and I have made our “shoebox wish list” of all the goodies and gifts we’d like to send to a child overseas through Operation Christmas Child (OCC) and we’ve prayed (just in case God wants us to send Hot Wheels).  This week, I’ll be hunting through dollar stores and Wal-Mart for the gifts.

My daughters are adding everything they see on TV and in Wal-Mart to their Christmas lists.  So, it’s the perfect moment to take them shopping for gifts to give to another child, a child they’ll never meet on this planet and a child who isn’t likely to be opening any other packages on Christmas morning.

It’s a reminder to be grateful.  It’s a way to shift our focus off of getting and onto giving.

I hope that you’ve packed a shoebox before and are making one again this year!  If not, here’s everything you need to know to get involved in Operation Christmas Child.

You can begin by learning more about the organization here, like:

Check out this video of Scotty McCreery on How to Pack a Shoebox:

If you make a $7 donation online to cover the shipping for your box, you can even print off a label that lets you track it here!!  A few weeks after delivery, they’ll send you an email telling you what country your box was delivered to and some general information about the needs in that area.  Our boxes two years ago ended up in Tanzania.

I usually let each of my girls pick items to fill a box for a child their gender and age.  This year, we’ll be sending off a box for a 2-4-year-old girl, and two 5-9 -year-old girls.  We picked out jump ropes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs, socks, t-shirts, small games like jacks and dominoes, stuffed animals, some candy, some shiny pencils and a pencil sharpener and more.  We practically have to sit on the boxes to make it all fit!

Most important of all, pray for the child who will receive your shoebox!  Prayer is so powerful.  Don’t just send stuff, send gifts along with time spent on your knees.

Here are some of my favorite OCC videos.

Matthew West shows the Great Lengths OCC goes to bring shoeboxes to kids around the world.

Check out how excited this boy from Angola is to receive his shoebox!  This is my most favorite OCC video!

There are so many opportunities to give every holiday season, but this is my very favorite.  I hope you’ll make Operation Christmas Child a part of your holiday traditions, as well!

Have you packed a shoe box before?  Where did it end up?  Are you packing shoeboxes this year?


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

2 thoughts on “Packing Shoeboxes

  1. vickie smith says:

    I love OCC. I think I get as much joy putting boxes together as the kids do receiving them. Brings me to tears of joy watching these videos.

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