Operation Christmas Child - 080053 Operation Christmas Child

Smart shoebox shopping year-round

With each Operation Christmas Child shoebox you pack, a child in need across the globe experiences hope, joy, and the love of God. Here are some tips to help you pack boxes this Christmas season! Pack MORE for LESS!

Suggestions for your shoebox:

  • Rubber balls are cheap, long-lasting, and a gift any child will love
  • For great hygiene items, collect the soap from your hotel rooms when you travel
  • Don’t forget that you can make quality items: craft kits, little books, finger puppets and more
  • Try a themed shoebox—the kids love it

Shopping tips:

  • Avoid paying full price: Watch for clearance bins and buy in bulk
  • If there is still lots of one item left, wait! Often the price will go down even further
  • Use coupons. Some stores even match coupon books from other retailers
  • Shop when stores are clearing out excess inventory.

Work together:

  • Get friends involved (they can be co-detectives for sales)
  • Get co-workers involved (bring brochures and boxes to your work space)
  • Get store managers involved (give them a brochure, explain what you’re doing and why)
  • When you find a great deal, post it on our OCC Canada Facebook page
  • There are many bloggers and regional Facebook pages that share tips and deals. Find one near you!
  • Take OCC pamphlets to work; it can start conversations about OCC and the Gospel!
  • Challenge a Sunday school group to fill shoeboxes year round by bringing one item a month
  • Give your dentist a pamphlet and ask for a donation of toothbrushes or floss (remember, toothpaste can not go into Canadian shoeboxes)
  • Try a neighborhood garage sale, with all proceeds going to OCC
  • Invite the media to what you and your workplace, neighborhood, or church is doing with OCC!
  • Put a shoebox in your front closet for the year and add to it as you find good deals

Val is a CONNECT volunteer whose skill at deal-finding helps her pack over 1,000 shoeboxes a year. Her license plate reads “Shoe Box Lady.” Why? Val explains, “I love it when [people] ask, ‘Well, what’s that mean?’ Then I pull out my brochure and give them the spiel.”

Glenda, another volunteer out of Carleton Place, Ontario, sends an email invitation to 250 co-workers to pack shoeboxes throughout the year. When she started in 2008, her workplace collected 37 boxes. In just a few years, the count was up to 487 gift-filled shoeboxes for hurting children around the world.

These are only two of countless people across Canada who are celebrating Christmas in every month of year through Operation Christmas Child. You can too! Check out the year-round packing ideas for tips on what to pack in your shoeboxes.


Operation Christmas Child - 080053 Operation Christmas Child

Please donate $12 for every shoebox you prepare. Your donations will help cover project costs, including shipping (make one combined donation for multiple shoeboxes). Consider making an additional donation to help Samaritan's Purse go beyond the shoebox and expand assistance to children, their families, and their communities. Samaritan's Purse does not provide receipts for the value of gift items included in a shoebox.