Passionate Giving: Operation Christmas Child + Giveaway

Congratulations to meganb… for winning the giveaway, and thanks so much to everyone who entered. (I loved hearing your sweet comments!) Comments on this post are now closed.

It’s week two of our Christmas donation chats, and I’m super excited to share another wonderful ministry with you. This week, we're talking about Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child, which is one of my favorite ministries to donate through during the Holidays as it so easily allows us to share the importance of giving during the Christmas Season with our children.


Each year, my children choose an age and gender of a child in need to pack a box for, and then we head to the Dollar Tree to pick up items for those children in addition to a few items we add from our stockpile.  It literally takes us less than an hour to do, and reminds my children and myself that there are those in need all over the world.  Here are some of the items that we usually look for:

  • Balls
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Candy (not chocolate as it will melt)
  • Coloring Books
  • Crayons
  • Small Stuffed Animals


We also enclose $7 which pays for the cost of shipping. Here's a peek at what our boxes looked like this year as we filled them.


{Please bear with me ~ my husband was out of town for the weekend and happened to walk in during the middle of the video, so I was a little scatter-brained as I taped it! And of course, my regular camera wasn't charged so this was taken on my iPhone ~ yikes…} 😉


The awesome folks at Samaritan's Purse have partnered with me to give one lucky reader a fantastic giveaway, and I'm so excited that one of you will win this!  They've sent a Scotty McCreary Christmas CD, ten Operation Christmas Child Ornaments and a super cute Operation Christmas Child t-shirt for one lucky PPP reader.


Here' s how to enter to win:

{Here's a closer look at the t-shirt ~ I just got it in my mailbox last night and haven't had a chance to iron it yet, but I promise you'll love it!}




This giveaway will end next Monday night, 11/12/12 at 10 PM.  Good luck ~ I promise you'll enjoy this, and hope that you'll consider packing a shoebox to send as well.  If you're not sure where to drop off your shoebox, visit the Samaritan's Purse website to find out more details, and I can't wait to hear how you all are giving! Also, if you choose to create a label online, you can track your shoebox right to where it goes ~ I love that! Thanks so much to Liz for sharing, and please let us know how you're giving.

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  1. Hey Laurie,
    I also learned that if you pay the shipping on line then you can track your package so you know what part of the world receives your shoeboxes. I thought that was pretty cool.

  2. Crayons and a coloring book will be going into our shoe boxes.

  3. This summer at the TN 4-H Round-up, one of the speakers was a young lady who had received an Operation Xmas Child box when she lived in an orphanage (can’t remember the country). The thing that she treasured the most was the TOOTHBRUSH! She had her own. In her orphage, all the children used the same toothbrush each night. Many of us had tears in our eyes when she told her story. She also made a decision to follow Jesus after the missionary who delivered the boxes shared the gospel, and has come to the US to go to school. We pack boxes each year. When my children were younger, we would challenge them to spend their own money to purchase items for the boxes. After they had gone shopping, we would reimburse them 50% of what they spent. It is wonderful to see the generosity! Our boxes are packed and ready to go tomorrow to drop off spot.

  4. We always pack boxes the same age and gender as my two children. hard candy, coloring book, school supplies, stuffed animal, hygiene items and a personal note.

  5. We also pack a box to match the ages of our kids. We included a shirt, hairbows, stuffed animal,hygeine items and lollipops

  6. We let the kids decide what age, they have done all: same age, younger, older. I buy the “boring stuff” toothbrush, comb, soap, pencils, crayons (bought during back to school sales) and the kids buy all the fun stuff: stuffed animals, coloring books, toys, etc.

  7. We pack the boxes as a group at church with everybody bringing in something from toiletry supplies to toys, candy and everything in between. The money for the shipping is taken out of our monthly missions offerings.

  8. cheap jewlery for the girls

  9. first aid kits

  10. bandana

  11. dental floss

  12. nail clippers

  13. This will be our first year filling a shoebox! We are very excited. We plan on putting toiletries, hair clips, crayons and a stuffed animal in ours.

  14. I have lots of Target beauty bags that are just sitting in the closet! I’m sure those girls can use a little bit of lotion, and lip stick samples 🙂

  15. Fun glittery pens 😀

  16. Bouncy balls (thought maybe the boys would like it)

  17. Nail polishes!

  18. Little race cars or just toy cars for the boys…

  19. Jennifer B. says

    In addition to the things already mentioned above, we’ve included those fun washcloths that expand when wet, jump ropes, GUM, craft or bead jewelery sets, paper notepads (to go with the crayons, markers, regular and colored pencils, and pencil sharpeners), and the note about me you can print off the Samaritan’s Purse website that has space for your child’s photo and information to personalize the box. We haven’t ever heard back from a recipient in all our years of participating, but I like to think it is fun for the child receiving the box to “see” who sent it to them.

    And, yes, our boxes are always VERY full. They can get a bit expensive, even with the great back-to-school pricing on school supplies, but as my teenager recently stated, if this is the only gift that child receives, isn’t that worth it?

    One other thing I find fun is that if you pay your fee online, you can find out where your box was delivered (at least what country). Last year’s boxes, although submitted together, went to very different parts of the world!

  20. Toothbrushes,hairbrushes,pretty hair clips.

  21. We have combs, hair ties and sunglasses in our box.

  22. * “Like” the Operation Christmas Child Facebook page

  23. * Follow Operation Christmas Child on Twitter

  24. small books and book markers fit well into the shoeboxes

  25. Pencils and markers

  26. chapsticks and lotions

  27. notepads and coloring books

  28. We are packing boxes tomorrow with our small group from church, this is one of my favorite projects to do! I always get donations of toothbrushes and dental floss from my dentist to include in the boxes. Socks and t-shirts can be picked up pretty inexpensively at the dollar store too!

  29. I’ve been wanting to do this with my kiddos, but haven’t yet! We will definitely add toothbrushes and crayons – two things my girls love. 🙂

  30. toothpaste

  31. Amber Campbell says

    BUBBLES always, all ages enjoy them

  32. Amber Campbell says


  33. Jessica Pinegar says

    Hot wheels

  34. Amber Campbell says

    shampoo/body wash

  35. Jessica Pinegar says

    Lego sets

  36. Amber Campbell says

    those super cool washcloth bricks from the dollar tree, they don’t take up much space in the box and have cool characters

  37. Amber Campbell says


  38. We will be sending them each a bible, crayons, coloring book, candy, toothbrushes and paste, toy, and a christmas card.. and more…

  39. I will be giving them toothbrushes and kids aquafresh fruit flavored toothpaste. I will also add some fun stuff like some toys from dollar tree and coloring book and crayons.

  40. My kids and I have been doing this for over 12 years. They get such a joy out of buying and packing the boxes. We always put a toothbrush and toothpaste. Then we get the washcloths that have a shape when you wet it it gets bigger. Fun bath wash, toys, coloring book and crayons, for the girls jewelry from the dollar tree. To finish it off a cross.

  41. Jennifer Keaton says

    I’m so excited to bring this in as a new tradition in my home. I think my two little girls are now the perfect age
    To start this. I want them to delete joy of making someone else happy this holiday season. As I try my best I teach them to be more Christ like, I think this will help. We are excited about picking out a boys box and a girls box. We decided to do nail polish and lip gloss for the girl and a small Lego set for a boy. We can’t wait to track them too! If only everyone could make just one box for a child, we could bring a smile to so many more kids faces. I pray each year that this will continue to grow and blossom and more and more kids receive a box and feel the love deep inside that was created just for them.

  42. We have done this for years and it is something we ALL can do (my 2 and 3 yo included). This year we are doing light up bouncy balls as a fun toy for the boys and train whistles (my 2 yo favorite toy).

  43. Just another thought…cover these sweet boxes in prayer!

  44. Liked their FB page

  45. Debbie Frederick says

    So far I have a yo-yo, a ball cap, color books and crayons, toothbrush and toothpaste., washcloth that expands in water and small bar of soap. We are still looking to add some hard candies and some kool-aid and some other little treats. Each item has been bathed in prayer.

  46. Have packing boxes with our GAs and RAs at church each year. Always include a toothbrush and toothpaste, small toys (balls, small cars like matchbox and small dolls/stuffed animals) are always a huge hit, and hard candy that won’t melt. And we usually do socks and a t-shirt. Our youth group did a mission trip to the Dominican Republic this past summer and were able to hand out things like these in person to the children. It’s a whole new perspective when you realize how much we have compared to what they have.

  47. I packed a shoebox. I put toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, hairbows, coloring book with crayons, jump rope and a few other goodies in there. Cant wait to see where it goes.

  48. Another shoebox i packed had a stuffed animal, harmonica, coloring book, teeth products and candy

  49. If i was doing a 2-4 box i would put baby toys, toothbrush, little outfit and shoes

  50. magic towels that get bigger in water.

  51. little football and hat

  52. Janell Hughes says

    Stuffed beanie babies from my daughter’s childhood collection

  53. Janell Hughes says

    I didn’t know they had a FB page until now. Thanks

  54. Janell Hughes says

    Hair clips and ponytail bands

  55. Janell Hughes says

    Small hair brushes

  56. Janell Hughes says

    Small footballs, bouncy balls, and hackie sacks

  57. Annette Forbes says

    Each year I take my son to the store and have him pick out things for a boy his age. We include small toys , hard candy , flip flops , 2 toothbrushes ,1 large toothpaste , Shampoo and soap , a comb, crayons, color pencils, in a note tablet. He always write a small personal note explains the plan of salvation. He includes a small stuffed animal of his that has been gently loved on so that he can visualize the child getting the gift loving it. It helps remember to pray for the child every night.

  58. Annette Forbes says

    Glad to find their fb pg!

  59. Annette Forbes says

    We pack a boy box and always include a small gift for the mother or caretaker.

  60. this year I have asked my kids to buy the items for the boxes. I will pay the shipping. We want them to feel they are apart of this wonderful opportunity to help.

  61. Katy Nelson says

    We packed flashlights and batteries! ( I picked them up at Walgreens for 10 cents each!)

  62. Katy Nelson says

    I follow them on facebook!

  63. Katy Nelson says

    We packed some of those mini washcloths that become HUGE from dollar tree!

  64. We plan on putting some necessities like comb, toothbrush, etc. my kids will pick out a few little fun items too.

  65. Included in our box, we put in crayons, small coloring and activity books. As well as a pocket bible so the child can carry God’s word with them every day!

  66. My family and I will be doing several shoe boxes for Christmas this year. We will be putting bar soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, small toys, stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, and we’re looking into doing first aid kits, as well. I’m so excited about how many people are doing it this year!

  67. Definitely putting toothbrush and toothpaste and hairbrush! Knowing that you are responsible for a child’s Christmas gift and that you must fit it in a shoebox is a quite a responsibility 🙂

  68. Toothbrush and paste, flashlight, mirror, lip balm, stuffed animal, amongst other items
    For a 5-9 girl

  69. outfit, crayons, coloring book, ball, kazoo for 2-4 boy

  70. I will be using items from my stockpile such as toothpaste and a toothbrush. I’m going to run to the store later on and get a small brush, bar soap, a small notebook, crayons, and some type of hard candy. I will also put a Polly pocket doll in the box that I got free from purchasing another doll from target. It’s so easy to give and doesn’t take much money at all!

  71. I always make sure that the basic hygiene items are packed. Then I let my children load the box with things they like.

  72. Love Operation Christmas Child. It does wonderful things for kids around the world, but it also teaches. My family about giving. We usually use a plastic container instead of a shoebox so that even the box is part of the gift.

  73. Wanda Tyndall says

    This is the first year that I’ve learned of this type of gift giving, I’ll add tooth brush and tooth past to a box the ages of my children!

  74. Flashlight, handheld electronic game, extra batteries, flip flops, t shirt for 10-14 boy

  75. Terrie regensburger says

    We love OCC – we always give markers, coloring books and crayons 😉 such a great ministry !

  76. This was our first year doing these, and we had such fun!!! Our two boys did a boy box, and our two girls did a girl box! They absolutely loved picking things out!! Whenever possible, they picked out things that had multiples items in the packages so the kids could share with other kids…made me smile! The boys did a football, puzzle, combs, hard candy (the biggest bag they could find – it was so sweet!), and more! The girls did a stuffed animal, bubbles, hard candy, a my little pony, scented markers, and more! We will definitely be doing this again next year!! 🙂

  77. Notebooks and pencils

  78. Coloring books and crayons

  79. Toothbrush and Toothpaste

  80. Flashlight and batteries for older boy

  81. We did 3 boxes and put balls, crayons, coloring books, tooth brushes/tooth paste, new wash cloths, soap, dolls, candy, pencils, erasers, paper, etc.

  82. Small puzzle and stuffed animal for younger girl

  83. We usually put in crayons…

  84. coloring books….

  85. toothpaste…

  86. a toothbrush….

  87. and this year a calculator for our 10-14 year old boy.

  88. I liked the OCS facebook page.

  89. Kelly Givan says

    This is my favorite fall activity and we have been packing them full of everything I can stuff in it that a child might want. This year we packed 8 shoeboxes. My dream is to go on a mission trip with them to deliver one day.

  90. For the girls I put fun lip glosses…

  91. This year I found awesome little books of simple prayers for children at Dollar Tree!

  92. I put a small stuffed animal for both the boys & the girls…

  93. Crayons & coloring books!

  94. Jumpropes for the girls & small nerf footballs for the boys!

  95. Following OCC on twitter…

  96. Danelle DeMilly says

    I went through my coupon stash and found a cute HelloKitty travel toothbrush, sparkly Crest kids toothpaste, crayons, stickers, bubbles in the shape of a cute icecream cone, gum and Skittles, pretty socks, hair barrettes, and a small hair brush!

    Most of these items were super cheap or free with coupons 🙂