Thursday, November 14, 2013

Packing Shoeboxes!

For many years, we have participated in an annual ministry with  Packing shoeboxes for children in over 130 different countries.  Its a simple project, one anyone can do.  Doesn't have to be costly or take a great deal of time ~ shopping for the items & dropping off the box/boxes is the only time you need to leave the comforts of your own home.  Your box can bless a child anywhere in the world ~ and the box doesn't need a passport or need to know the local language.  These boxes speak love & care to a needy child. 

The last several years, we've put aside money each month in our budget for shoeboxes.  The kids and I shop for them one day each month & all the stuff goes in a big bin or bins in our attic ~ or the bench upstairs in the hallway.  The ages for the boxes are 2-4, 5-9, 11-14 boy or girl.  We "try" to shop for either boy or girl each month but sometimes we find a great deal and buy whats available.

Back to school sales are awesome for pencils, pens, notepads, spiral notebooks, crayons, sharpeners etc.  This year we did more boxes for the oldest age group for both boy & girl.  I had heard of sewing kits for the girls (the older girls can have sharp scissors) & fishing kits for the boys.  So we put our imaginations to work ~  here are some pictures from yesterday

all our boy box goodies ~ we had a big shoe box

homemade fishing kit ~ bobbers not shown
it all fit!

items for our girl box

homemade sewing kit

this stuff just barely fit!

The fishing kits contained ~ line (I bought a big spool and rewound it onto empty sewing thread spools), bobbins, weights, & sinkers ~ all bought at Bass Pro Shop (that was cheaper than Walmart).  I split all the stuff between 4 boxes and still have lots of fishing line for next year.  The tools - screw driver sets, multi purpose scissors, work gloves & tape measures were all free from Harbour Freight tools ~ they put out coupons every week for a free item...we collect these all year long.  We also added a warm pair of socks, school supplies, bungee cords & string or twine ~ all from Dollar Tree.

The sewing kits contained ~ scissors, 3 or 4 spools of thread, buttons, needles, straight pins, ribbon, fabric or fat quarters,  cross stitch kit,  & some crochet kits. The crochet kits were from Dollar Tree & the cross stitch kits were from the clearance bins at Michaels ~ .25 each!  We found some girl t shirts at dollar tree & some flip flops.  Plus all the school supplies & personal care items.

Walmart is the cheapest place for the toothpaste ~ I think we paid .68 a tube.  Our little "loveys" for the little kid boxes were bought in Jan. last year on clearance for .25 each.  The silly band bracelets were .25 at a speciality gift store.  We buy IVORY soap (it floats!) at Kroger and washcloths at Walmart or crochet washcloths).  Large boxes of pencils, pens, hair bands, candy, etc can be broken down and put into Ziploc baggies for different boxes.  We get multi packs of combs & toothbrushes and split them up also.  New this year was adding plastic cups ~ where we could fit them in ~ you can cram a lot of stuff into a cup!

I saw this picture over the year and its stayed with me ~  I can't even imagine this life!

An image of a child receiving an Operation Christmas Child shoe box:  Street children in Ukraine - living in holes in the ground - c2006. This is why I continue to fill  boxes.
There is evidentally more than one child living underground in this pic ~ it shows more than one box ~ this is in Ukraine

How can we NOT pack a box?
I know there are people all over the world that live in these same conditions or even worse ~ we can't bring love to everyone but we can show love to one child ~ through a Simple Shoebox gift.
Its not too late ~ National Collection week is next week ~ its always the full week before Thanksgiving.

If your children are like mine ~ they don't need anymore little trinkets, gadgets, or doo dads ~ enlist their help in making boxes.  Amy comes up with ideas that I never thought of (next year she wants to add a skirt with an elastic waist to the girl boxes along with a dollar store t shirt)...we will be making skirts next year.

We start our collecting for next month!

Its an awesome ministry!

We are blessed by packing a simple shoebox & are thankful for this ministry that allows each of us to participate!



  1. Oh, wow, I remember we always did these with our children when we lived in Brisbane, but when we moved down here I didn't see the boxes & so haven't done it for years now. Love your idea of doing it over the whole year though, that would certainly help & I may have to look into getting some boxes to do for next year! Hugs Sharm in Australia

  2. I love the idea of sewing and fishing kits! I intended to show you my crocheted "soap saver" washcloths yesterday. They are just little bags that are the size of a bar of soap with a tie at top to gather it closed ... super easy to crochet! I found them on Pinterest (of course) and have already started making some for next year.


Welcome to the farm ~ we are a blended family with 7 children (3 are married), 4 grandsons, 5 dogs, 3 rabbits, and 15 chickens living on 3 acres in Georgia. I love crafting, sewing, cooking & canning, recipes of all kinds, reading, playing with my little buddies, family time, travel, pinterest and most of all the Lord.