The following are a few things that we definitely need to ensure all boxes have the most important “core” items.
If you’d like to sign up to bring certain items in certain quantities, please send a message via the form at the bottom of this page, or let us know at church so we don’t have a ton of you bringing the same thing.
Based on current needs reported at the Official Operation Christmas Child Project Leaders group on Facebook, we’ve decided to fill shoeboxes as follows:
- 60 boxes for 10-14 age group (40 boys/20 girls)
- 10 boxes for 5-9 age group (5 boys/5 girls)
- 30 boxes for 2-4 age group (15 boys/15 girls)
HAIR BRUSHES – We have a ton of combs for the boys, but we still need some hairbrushes for the girls. Dollar Tree is probably the best place for these. They have good hairbrushes in cute colors.
SOAP – We have 74 bars of soap. We only need 26 more bars! Come on, this stuff is cheap. Irish Spring, Dove, Ivory, whatever you’d like to buy. WASHCLOTHS – We have 50 washcloths. We need 50 to make sure each child will get one. Walmart has some very reasonable bundles of washcloths. I think they come in packs of either 4 for $1 or 18 for $3. (The 4 for $1 ones are just slightly softer, but I think either will be fine.)
NOTEBOOKS – We have 32 spiral notebooks/composition books. We want to make sure every school-aged child gets a notebook and school supplies so we need about 38 more. If you’re like me, some of you may have bought some extra notebooks this school year for your own children. Since Walmart and other places have marked their notebooks back up to regular prices, you may have to shop around. You definitely shouldn’t have to pay more than $1/notebook.
MARKERS/COLORED PENCILS/CRAYONS – We need 13 more sets to make sure all of our boxes for ages 5-14 have art supplies. The 2-4 year old boxes will get boxes of jumbo crayons from Oriental Trading Company.
HAIR ACCESSORIES (A bunch!) – While we have some very cute bows, barrettes, headbands, and ponytail holders, we need more. We can always split up sets — in fact, we’ll likely do that anyway because packaging takes up so much space, but we definitely need a lot more of these items. The cute and colorful elastic headbands are really great. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of the young girls in Africa, and while they sometimes keep their hair cropped very close to the head, they can still wear headbands as something decorative. Dollar Tree has a variety of bright, colorful ones at a cheap price. They might be a little more at Walmart and Dollar General, but they have a greater variety.
UNDERWEAR – At least 22 for 13-14 year old boys (we have 18), 2 for 8-9 year old boys, 15 each for 2-4 year old boys and girls. Thankfully, we are now fully stocked for 10-14 year old girls! Each girl will get two pairs.
TOYS! TOYS! TOYS! – In general, we need toys for the 2-4 age group, especially boys. We also need toys specifically for girls in the 5-9 age group, but remember, we’re only doing 5 girls boxes for that age group.
SEWING THREAD & NOTIONS – To go along with these sewing kits that we’ve bought for the 10-14 year old girl shoeboxes, we need sewing thread, and maybe some safety pins, buttons, and/or zippers. Some of these items can be bought in bulk on Amazon and then we can split them up. Walmart has assorted packages of 24 spools of thread for just $7.97. We can easily split these packages up 6 ways. Each girl can get 4 spools of thread. https://www.walmart.com/ip/
WATER BOTTLES – One place where I KNOW you can get cheap, good water bottles is Dollar Tree. Here are a few ideal models from there:
Please note, these are all marked as BPA Free. This is ideal. Also, wide mouths are a must! We’ll be stuffing these full of other goodies, so the water bottles with built-in straws or narrow tops are NOT a good idea.
DRESS UP ITEMS – These are great for the toddler age group. Apparently, crowns are a super popular item with little girls at Shoebox distributions. I know Dollar Tree has these.
Image of little girl in crown from The Humbled Homemaker blog
Ok, folks, that’s all for now!
Please let us know what you’d like to commit to bringing from this list, and remember, you are welcome to put the items you bring in labeled bags/boxes OR hold on to them until the packing party if you like.