Operation Christmas Child – A Shoe Box Full Of Smiles

Raising generous and kind children is at the top of my priority list. We have been blessed with so much in life, and I want to make sure our girls know how lucky they are and learn compassion for others. One of the ways we teach them empathy is by talking about giving back to others on a regular basis.

In our house, helping those in need is not just a seasonal event, although our efforts certainly ramp up this time of year. Whenever I participate in a charitable event, I always take my daughter with me and talk to her why I feel it is important and how we will be helping others.

In addition to participating in local campaigns, this year I decided that we should also pack a box for Operation Christmas Child to help a child far away.


Recently, my daughter has become very interested in geography. She wants to know where everyone is from and about what it looks like in other places. In her mind, geography is limited to the United States, and we talk a lot about other states. For this project, I had the opportunity to expand on that learning by introducing her to other countries around the world. We talked about how people in other countries are in need of all kinds of things, and how our shoe box would make a child somewhere far away smile.

When I explained to K that we would be packing a shoe box full of goodies for a little girl her age, she ran off to her room shouting, “She needs jewelry!” When she returned she brought with her a few extra special items to add to our donation: rings, a necklace and bracelets. Although new items are requested, I was so touched by her sentiment I couldn’t tell her no. Besides, each of the items she hand selected from her collection were pristine. I am certain they will be well loved.

After admiring all of the items I purchased for the box (and concluding mom had, in fact, done well), we packed up the box with a very special picture, decorated it and got it ready to be sent for Christmas. Here are the items we included:

  • Zhu-Zhu Pet
  • Disney Fairies Art Kit
  • Package of Silly Bands
  • Small purse
  • Crayons
  • Coloring Book
  • Stickers
  • Note pad
  • Small cans of Play-Doh
  • Lip Balm
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Bar of soap
  • Candy (not chocolate, it melts)
  • K’s jewelry

Our box was filled to the brim with things my daughter loves, and I am sure it will be loved when it is received.


National collection week for Operation Christmas Child is November 12 – 19. Get involved by packing your own shoe box and dropping it off at a collection center near you. It’s easy, and it is a great way to teach kids about giving to others. Here’s what you need to do.

Start with a Shoe Box

Use an empty shoe box (standard size, please) or a small plastic container. You can wrap the box (lid separately), but wrapping is not required. Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift.

Boy or Girl 

Determine whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the child’s age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Print out the appropriate boy/girl label by downloading the artwork to the right. Mark the correct age category on the label, and tape the label to the top of your box.

Fill With Gifts

Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child.  Use the gift ideas provided on the bottom of this page.

Include $7 Donation 

Please donate $7 or more for each shoe box you prepare to help cover shipping and other project costs. You can give online by using our “Follow Your Box Donation” option, or you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the gift items inside your box. If you or your family are preparing more than one shoe box, please make one combined donation.

Drop Off

Place a rubber band around each closed shoe box and drop it off at the collection center nearest you during our collection week, November 12-19, 2012. For locations and hours of collection visit our Drop-Off Locations page where you can find the nearest place to take your shoe box by entering your ZIP Code or you can call 1-800-353-5949.

You can also send your shoe box gift to:

Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child
801 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607

For more ideas about filling your shoe box, check out this video of Scotty McCreery packing up his box.


This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion and generosity.

Operation Christmas Child and influencer marketing platform BlogFrog have teamed up with 200 bloggers like me to spread the word about this great cause. BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.