How to Participate in Operation Christmas Child -- and 14 Ideas for a Little Girl's Box (ages 5-9)

November 01, 2021
Halloween is over  . . . . and now it's my favorite time of the year! Why? Because there are three things I look forward to doing: 

1. Finding a shoebox.

2. Packing it with goodies.

3. Sending filled shoebox to a child somewhere in the world.

Every year I enjoy participating in Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse. Operation Christmas Child sends thousands of boxes of goodies and necessities to children everywhere in the world who wouldn't be able to experience any Christmas without it.

Samaritan's Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people worldwide. Since 1970, Samaritan's Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God's love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

An international relief organization, Samaritan's Purse is often the first on the scene after a disaster: in the United States and anywhere else in the world. During the pandemic in early 2020, Samaritan's Purse operated their mobile hospital in New York City's Central Park, helping over 300 patients with COVID-19 and relieving the burden of neighboring Mount Sinai Hospital. Just recently, Samaritan's Purse provided a field hospital in Haiti following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake on August 14, 2021.

Operation Christmas Child
My youngest at 9 years old with his finished shoebox.
has been a ministry close to my heart since my youngest child was two years old (and he turns 19 this month!). When I was a leader in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), our group would pack dozens of boxes each November. Our family continued the tradition when our boys transitioned to elementary school. We would take the boys shopping and let them fill a shoebox with their choice of items for a boy their age.

Now years later, I'm still packing goodie-filled boxes. The Christmas Spirit begins for me in early August when I stock up on school supplies during back-to-school sales. Anytime I'm out shopping, I look for deals on items to add to my stash so I am ready for National Collection Week. 

If you'd like to do a shoebox, there are oodles of ideas on my Pinterest Board
, or you can refer to this list on the Operation Christmas Child website.

Three things I always include in shoeboxes: 

1.    School supplies: pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener, and crayons (and/or markers),
2.    Toothbrush, a bar of soap, and a nice soft washcloth,
3.    T-shirt and a pair of socks.

For my boxes this year, I am doing color-coordinated boxes in green, blue, and pink, for three little girls. For ideas, here is what is in the green box: 

  • T-shirt 
  • Sling backpack
  • Hair scrunchie
  • Water bottle
  • Hairbrush
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Small notepad (for writing or drawing)
  • Pencils (wrapped with ribbon she can use for her hair)
  • Pencil sharpener (a must!!)
  • Soft eraser
  • Play-doh (at Walmart for 50 cents)
  • Little stretch toy (found in party aisle)
  • Little doll
This year, I'm adding a handmade card to each box. Since our shoeboxes regularly go to Mexico (since we are in Texas), I will have my bilingual hubby help me write a word of encouragement in Spanish.
How you can participate: For more information, visit How to Pack a Shoebox. Most items can be purchased at a local dollar store. Hobby Lobby offers red and green plastic shoeboxes, plus many ideas of items to include, available from their store. During summer clearance season going on at several stores right now, it's possible to find t-shirts as low as $1 (as I found at Walmart!) My items were found at Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Michaels (where I got the heavier Gildan T-shirts on sale, 3 for $9.99). 
This year's National Collection Week is November 15-22, and there are drop-off locations everywhere! Unable to pack a shoebox yet still want to help? Build a shoebox online.   
If you have packed a shoebox in the past, what was a favorite item you included? What ideas can you think of to add to a little girl's box? 


  1. What a wonderful idea! Those will be ome happy children.

  2. This sounds like such a wonderful ministry! And it's great to hear about your involvement in it. Nice to see you again, too, for this challenge.

  3. oh this is so wonderful.. I am going to ask my daughter to see if she can get together with her troop and/or her cousins to do it as a group...

  4. This would be great to do with Lia! I'm going to check the link out!


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