Operation Christmas Child: Life-Changing Shoebox Ideas for a 10-14 Girl

Updated on September 9, 2019
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I've been packing OCC shoeboxes with gifts that provide the greatest impact for 20 years.

Shoebox Ideas For a 10-14 Girl

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ideas for a 10-14 Girl
Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ideas for a 10-14 Girl

I've participated in Operation Christmas Child ("OCC") for more than two decades but 2013 was the first year I decided to pack a shoebox for a 10- to 14-year-old girl.

After reading articles about the unique struggles faced by young women in developing countries, I realized the life-changing impact a shoebox could have when packed with thoughtful gifts.

Why should I pack a shoebox for a 10-14 Girl?

Every year, the 10-14 age group consistently receives the fewest shoeboxes.

It's easy to shop for gifts we assume most little girls will like (pretty dolls, fluffy stuffed animals, anything pink and glittery) but the truth is, shopping for a young woman is even more fun and fulfilling.

What is Operation Christmas Child?

Founded by a couple in the UK in 1990, OCC made its first delivery — nine trucks packed with medical supplies, food, clothing and gifts — to Romania following the country's violent anti-Communist revolution. Three years later, OCC was acquired by international relief organization Samaritan's Purse and has since delivered more than 168 million shoeboxes to children around the world who have been affected by war, poverty, famine and natural disasters.

Samaritan's Purse describes OCC as "a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ." Unless prohibited by the recipient country, a booklet about Christianity is added to each shoebox and the children who receive them are encouraged to participate in discipleship programs offered by local churches.

Short on time? My Amazon Idea List has everything you need to pack a life-changing OCC shoebox in one place.
Short on time? My Amazon Idea List has everything you need to pack a life-changing OCC shoebox in one place. | Source

Help fight the global waste crisis by intentionally choosing durable, plastic-free gifts with minimal packaging.

When shopping for your shoebox, consider how the items you choose will impact the environment of the girl who receives them.

Nearly every country that receives OCC shoeboxes struggles to safely dispose of its waste. Places like India, Ghana and the Philippines lack proper waste management infrastructure so garbage piles up in makeshift landfills and children living nearby often scavenge through the hazardous trash to earn money.

The good news is that eco-friendly alternatives for common shoebox gifts are becoming more affordable every day. For example, while plastic toothbrushes take hundreds of years to decompose, threaten wildlife populations and release chemicals into the air as they break down, bamboo toothbrushes cost the same (or less!) and are 100% biodegradable.

3 Ways to Make Your OCC Shoebox More Eco-Friendly:

  • Repurpose an existing cardboard shoebox. Plastic shoeboxes will inevitably end up in a landfill, local waterway or the ocean. Cardboard boxes, on the other hand, break down naturally when no longer needed. Local shoe stores are an excellent source of cardboard shoeboxes if you don't already have one at home.
  • Remove and recycle all packaging, labels, stickers and tags at home. Removing and recycling packaging costs nothing, prevents trash from polluting other countries and frees up extra space in your shoebox!
  • Avoid plastic and polyester. Choose items made from organic, non-toxic, sustainable and/or biodegradable materials like cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, cork and natural rubber. If something in your shoebox must be bagged (like a bar of soap), choose a reusable silicone storage bag.

Countdown to this year's National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child

The 2019 National Collection Week for OCC is November 18-25.
The 2019 National Collection Week for OCC is November 18-25. | Source

1. Personal Hygiene

Hundreds of millions of girls in low-income countries lack access to things many of us take for granted, like clean water, soap, toilets and feminine hygiene products. According to international organizations like UNICEF and WaterAid, girls who are able to safely and adequately manage their personal hygiene, especially their periods, are more likely to be healthy, educated and economically stable throughout their lives.

Including personal hygiene products in your shoebox helps girls reach their full potential by giving them the tools they need to stay in school and prevent disease.

Top 10 Personal Hygiene Gift Ideas For a 10-14 Girl

  1. reusable cloth pads I include a few of these in every 10-14 Girl shoebox. Read more about the impact of reusable feminine hygiene products below.
  2. personal water filter I include at least one of these in every shoebox, regardless of age group. Read more about the clean water crisis below.
  3. mild bar soap
  4. bamboo toothbrushes and 100% silk dental floss
  5. 100% cotton, linen or bamboo wash cloths
  6. natural lip balm
  7. colorful band-aids
  8. bamboo hair brushes and combs
  9. stainless steel tweezers, nail clippers and nail files
  10. natural loofahs

Reusable menstrual products keep girls in school while reducing waste in developing countries.

6Pcs Set Menstrual Pads Reusable Washable Charcoal Bamboo Layer Heavy Flow 13 inch Sanitay Pads with 1 Cloth Mini Wet Bag by Simfamily
6Pcs Set Menstrual Pads Reusable Washable Charcoal Bamboo Layer Heavy Flow 13 inch Sanitay Pads with 1 Cloth Mini Wet Bag by Simfamily

UNICEF reports that, in developing countries, one out of every 10 girls misses class or drops out of school because of her period. Reusable menstrual products alleviate the financial burden of having to replace products month after month as well as the well-documented environmental devastation caused by disposable feminine products.

Help the girl who receives your shoebox attain an equal education by gifting her with high-quality reusable cloth pads like these.

 
A girl holds her shoebox in Central Asia where access to clean water is limited.
A girl holds her shoebox in Central Asia where access to clean water is limited. | Source

Access to clean water improves physical and mental health and combats the cycle of poverty by allowing girls to spend more time in school.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter - 3 Pack
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter - 3 Pack

Every two minutes, a child dies from a water-related illness. Help end the clean water crisis by packing a LifeStraw into each of your OCC shoeboxes. A single LifeStraw, which removes 99.9% of bacteria from contaminated water and has no expiration date, can filter up to 1,000 gallons. That's more than five years of daily drinking water for the girl who receives your shoebox!

 
A well-made stuffed animal is a guaranteed shoebox hit regardless of age.
A well-made stuffed animal is a guaranteed shoebox hit regardless of age. | Source

2. Something To Love & Play With

I'm a huge advocate for packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with practical gifts like water filters, solar-powered lanterns and sewing kits — these things can change lives after all! But a girl between the ages of 10 and 14 is still a child, and the first thing she sees when she opens her shoebox should be something that brings joy.

Regardless of age group, a durable, high-quality toy should be the foundation of your shoebox.

Top 10 Toy Ideas For a 10-14 Girl Shoebox

  1. well-made stuffed animals or dolls A small, durable stuffed animal is my go-to shoebox gift in this category. From everything I've read about OCC distributions around the world, stuffed animals are always enthusiastically received, regardless of gender or age group.
  2. deflated soccer balls with mini manual ball pumps Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and it offers a potential (albeit long-shot) career opportunity for those who have the resources to practice and play.
  3. puzzles or games
  4. jump ropes
  5. picture books or pop-up books
  6. small kites
  7. bouncy balls or hacky sacks
  8. dress-up accessories like fairy wings, tiaras or play jewelry
  9. coloring books with crayons, colored pencils or markers
  10. hands-on kits that allow girls to make or decorate their own crafts

A girl in Namibia excited about the necklace in her shoebox.
A girl in Namibia excited about the necklace in her shoebox. | Source

One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.

— Malala Yousafzai, Activist for Women's Education

3. School Supplies

In developing countries, providing girls with equal educational opportunities increases health and life expectancy, drastically reduces infant mortality rates and fuels economic growth for the entire country. Despite those well-researched benefits, 31 million girls are currently not attending school.

Educational barriers for girls in developing countries are socially, culturally and economically complex but your shoebox can help! According to UNICEF, children are less likely to attend school when their families have to buy school supplies like notebooks and pencils and children who do show up to school without supplies are often turned away.

Including basic school supplies in your shoebox helps break the cycle of poverty by empowering girls to get the education they deserve.

Top 10 School-Related Gifts For 10-14 Girls

  1. solar-powered lanterns and flashlightsI include one of these in every shoebox, regardless of age group. Read more about how the lack of electricity in developing countries impacts educational opportunities below.
  2. durable writing utensilsThink long-term when shopping for school supplies. If you include pencils in your shoebox, add a sharpener or two as well as extra erasers. If you include mechanical pencils, pack lead refills. These things extend the life of your gift!
  3. notebooks
  4. solar-powered calculators
  5. small backpacks or tote bags
  6. pencil cases
  7. scissors
  8. wooden rulers
  9. mini chalk boards with chalk or mini dry-erase boards with markers
  10. math flash cards

Solar-powered lanterns give girls more time to study in places where electricity is scarce and unreliable.

  • The Dark Side of Education

    Millions of children have no access to electricity, leaving them to study by the dim light of kerosene lamps or garbage fires that threaten their health and safety.

AIDIER Inflatable Solar Lantern, Solar Powered Camping Lantern for Outdoor Activities, Camping, Hiking, Exploration, and Emergency Lighting
AIDIER Inflatable Solar Lantern, Solar Powered Camping Lantern for Outdoor Activities, Camping, Hiking, Exploration, and Emergency Lighting

Help make education attainable for girls around the world by including a solar-powered inflatable lantern like this one.

 
A girl lights the way with a candle while carrying her shoebox home in a village where electricity is scarce and unreliable.
A girl lights the way with a candle while carrying her shoebox home in a village where electricity is scarce and unreliable. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
A girl holding her shoebox in Nepal.Girls celebrating their shoebox gifts in Zambia.A girl holding her shoebox in the Dominican Republic.A girl holding one of her shoebox gifts in Malawi.Girl excited to open their shoeboxes in Costa Rica.A girl showing off her shoebox in Paraguay.Girls excitedly unpacking their shoeboxes in Sri Lanka.A girl opening her shoebox in Ecuador.Girls showing off their shoebox gifts in Fiji.A girl hugging her shoebox in the Philippines.Girls ready to open their shoeboxes in Peru.Girls celebrating their OCC shoebox gifts in Belize.Girl holding their shoeboxes at an OCC distribution event in Uruguay.A girl holding up her shoebox in Senegal.A girl carrying her OCC shoebox on her head in Cameroon.Girls showing off their new toys in Zimbabwe.A girl holding her shoebox in Moldova.Girls holding a shoebox in St. Vincent.
A girl holding her shoebox in Nepal.
A girl holding her shoebox in Nepal. | Source
Girls celebrating their shoebox gifts in Zambia.
Girls celebrating their shoebox gifts in Zambia. | Source
A girl holding her shoebox in the Dominican Republic.
A girl holding her shoebox in the Dominican Republic. | Source
A girl holding one of her shoebox gifts in Malawi.
A girl holding one of her shoebox gifts in Malawi. | Source
Girl excited to open their shoeboxes in Costa Rica.
Girl excited to open their shoeboxes in Costa Rica. | Source
A girl showing off her shoebox in Paraguay.
A girl showing off her shoebox in Paraguay. | Source
Girls excitedly unpacking their shoeboxes in Sri Lanka.
Girls excitedly unpacking their shoeboxes in Sri Lanka. | Source
A girl opening her shoebox in Ecuador.
A girl opening her shoebox in Ecuador. | Source
Girls showing off their shoebox gifts in Fiji.
Girls showing off their shoebox gifts in Fiji. | Source
A girl hugging her shoebox in the Philippines.
A girl hugging her shoebox in the Philippines. | Source
Girls ready to open their shoeboxes in Peru.
Girls ready to open their shoeboxes in Peru. | Source
Girls celebrating their OCC shoebox gifts in Belize.
Girls celebrating their OCC shoebox gifts in Belize. | Source
Girl holding their shoeboxes at an OCC distribution event in Uruguay.
Girl holding their shoeboxes at an OCC distribution event in Uruguay. | Source
A girl holding up her shoebox in Senegal.
A girl holding up her shoebox in Senegal. | Source
A girl carrying her OCC shoebox on her head in Cameroon.
A girl carrying her OCC shoebox on her head in Cameroon. | Source
Girls showing off their new toys in Zimbabwe.
Girls showing off their new toys in Zimbabwe. | Source
A girl holding her shoebox in Moldova.
A girl holding her shoebox in Moldova. | Source
Girls holding a shoebox in St. Vincent.
Girls holding a shoebox in St. Vincent. | Source

4. Something to Wear

Shoes and undergarments are often considered luxuries in the countries where Operation Christmas Child distributes shoeboxes. Nonprofits that provide bras and underwear to women in developing countries, like Free The Girls, Smalls For All and Oxfam, say these clothing items build girls' confidence and provide a greater sense of personal safety. Similarly, shoes protect girls from parasitic diseases transmitted through contaminated soil and may be required as part of their school uniform.

T-shirts, dresses and cute accessories make good shoebox gifts, but durable, well-made shoes, bras and underwear can be game-changers for the girls who receive them.

Top 3 Clothing Gift Ideas For a 10-14 Girl

While a sweater may make the perfect gift in Serbia, a girl in Malaysia may never have a use for it. The following items are useful for girls regardless of where your shoebox gets shipped. They also take up very little space!

  1. 100% cotton underwear — I include a few pairs of underwear in every shoebox, regardless of age group or gender.
  2. sports bras — I include a sports bra in every 10-14 Girl shoebox because unlike traditional bras, they're designed to be supportive during physical activity and to resist bacteria. Not to mention they're way easier to pack because they don't have an underwire!
  3. protective shoes — My personal favorite is The Shoe That Grows, a life-changing adjustable shoe developed by the non-profit Because International. These shoes expand up to five sizes, meaning they'll last for years, and they only cost $20!

Other clothing and accessory gift ideas:

  • t-shirts, long sleeve shirts or sleeveless tops
  • dresses or skirts
  • pajamas
  • shorts, pants or leggings
  • sneakers, sandals or flip flops
  • baseball caps or beanies
  • gloves or scarves
  • compact rain coats
  • watches
  • sunglasses
  • jewelry
  • barrettes, headbands or hair elastics

Expandal - Expandable, Sustainable, Functional Sandals Built Durable Enough to Last 5 Sizes of Growth on Growing Feet, Supports The Shoe That Grows (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid) (3-7 Big Kid) Blue
Expandal - Expandable, Sustainable, Functional Sandals Built Durable Enough to Last 5 Sizes of Growth on Growing Feet, Supports The Shoe That Grows (Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid) (3-7 Big Kid) Blue

Just like The Shoe That Grows, these sandals expand up to five sizes! Given how fast children grow, adjustable shoes like these offer girls years of protection from soil-transmitted diseases and other injuries that could prevent them from attending school.

 
Angella, a 13-year-old girl from Malawi who received a shoebox herself the year before this photo was taken, helps distribute gifts.
Angella, a 13-year-old girl from Malawi who received a shoebox herself the year before this photo was taken, helps distribute gifts. | Source

What not to include in your Operation Christmas Child shoebox

What NOT to include in an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox. From candy to toothpaste, customs regulations limit what you can send overseas.
What NOT to include in an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox. From candy to toothpaste, customs regulations limit what you can send overseas.

Customs regulations dictate what is and isn't allowed in your shoebox.

Just as important as what you should include in your shoebox is what you absolutely should NOT pack. Increasingly strict customs regulations make it difficult for some things to cross international borders even though they may have previously been allowed by Operation Christmas Child.

Here's what you should leave out of your shoebox:

  • NO FOOD — This includes candy, chocolate, fruit snacks & drink mixes. If you can eat or drink it, it shouldn't be in your shoebox.
  • NO TOOTHPASTE — Both liquid and solid forms of toothpaste are a no-no.
  • NO BREAKABLES
  • NO MONEY
  • NO WAR-RELATED TOYS — This includes rubber knives, toy guns that resemble real guns and military action figures. Brightly colored mini squirt guns are allowed.
  • NO LIQUIDS OR LOTIONS — This includes paint, glue, lip gloss, nail polish and mascara.
  • NO AEROSOL CONTAINERS
  • NO MEDICINE OR VITAMINS
  • NO SHARPS — This includes shaving razors, swiss army knives, saws or blades of any kind.
  • NO USED OR DAMAGED ITEMS
  • NO CAMOUFLAGE CLOTHING Do not include anything that could make a child appear soldier-like. Camouflage-patterned items like pens, notebooks and socks are allowed. Pink camouflage is also allowed.
  • NO MATCHES OR LIGHTERS
  • NO SEEDS OR PLANTS

Operation Christmas Child Poll

Which age group is your favorite to pack shoeboxes for?

See results

Where will your shoebox go?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A girl happily opening her shoebox at an OCC distribution event in Paraguay.A girl showing off her new stuffed animal and flip flops in Tanzania.A girl opening her shoebox in Rwanda.A girl in a hammock holding her shoebox in Ecuador.Girls sharing their new toys in Uganda.A girl holding her shoebox in Guyana.A girl holding her shoebox in Georgia.A girl balancing her shoebox on her head in Madagascar.An excited girl celebrating her gifts in Haiti.
A girl happily opening her shoebox at an OCC distribution event in Paraguay.
A girl happily opening her shoebox at an OCC distribution event in Paraguay. | Source
A girl showing off her new stuffed animal and flip flops in Tanzania.
A girl showing off her new stuffed animal and flip flops in Tanzania. | Source
A girl opening her shoebox in Rwanda.
A girl opening her shoebox in Rwanda. | Source
A girl in a hammock holding her shoebox in Ecuador.
A girl in a hammock holding her shoebox in Ecuador. | Source
Girls sharing their new toys in Uganda.
Girls sharing their new toys in Uganda. | Source
A girl holding her shoebox in Guyana.
A girl holding her shoebox in Guyana. | Source
A girl holding her shoebox in Georgia.
A girl holding her shoebox in Georgia. | Source
A girl balancing her shoebox on her head in Madagascar.
A girl balancing her shoebox on her head in Madagascar. | Source
An excited girl celebrating her gifts in Haiti.
An excited girl celebrating her gifts in Haiti. | Source

Examples of Girl 10-14 OCC shoeboxes

Click thumbnail to view full-size

More Gift Ideas For a 10-14 Girl Shoebox

Sewing Kit

Sewing is a vital skill that allows girls to repair clothing or earn money for their families.

  • needles
  • thread
  • fabric
  • fabric scissors
  • safety pins, straight pins and pin cushions
  • buttons
  • thimbles
  • velcro or zippers
  • tape measures
  • seam rippers

Arts & Crafts Supplies

Crafting allows girls to express their creativity.

  • crayons, colored pencils or markers
  • sketch pads or coloring books
  • construction paper
  • watercolor kit with paint brushes
  • beads and cords
  • yarn and crochet hooks or knitting needles
  • polymer clay or Play-Doh
  • stickers
  • glue sticks, duck tape or washi tape
  • ribbon

Gardening Tools

Gardening tools allow girls to grow food or flowers. Do not include seeds of any kind!

  • outdoor gloves
  • small tools like trowels, rakes, cultivators and pruning shears
  • knee pads
  • mini spray bottles
  • gardening aprons

Cooking Utensils

Small cookware and utensils help girls feed themselves and their families.

  • cooking utensils, forks and spoons
  • mini frying pans or sauce pans
  • potholders or oven mitts
  • water bottles
  • tupperware or lunchboxes
  • plates and collapsible bowls

From camels to canoes, shoeboxes reach their destinations in a variety of ways.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
OCC shoeboxes delivered by elephant in Zimbabwe.OCC shoeboxes delivered by wagon in Madagascar.OCC shoeboxes delivered by canoe in Madagascar.OCC shoeboxes delivered by donkey in Peru.OCC shoeboxes delivered by canoe in Malawi.OCC shoeboxes delivered by camel in Namibia.OCC shoeboxes delivered by raft in Fiji.OCC shoeboxes delivered by bike in Uganda.
OCC shoeboxes delivered by elephant in Zimbabwe.
OCC shoeboxes delivered by elephant in Zimbabwe. | Source
OCC shoeboxes delivered by wagon in Madagascar.
OCC shoeboxes delivered by wagon in Madagascar. | Source
OCC shoeboxes delivered by canoe in Madagascar.
OCC shoeboxes delivered by canoe in Madagascar. | Source
OCC shoeboxes delivered by donkey in Peru.
OCC shoeboxes delivered by donkey in Peru. | Source
OCC shoeboxes delivered by canoe in Malawi.
OCC shoeboxes delivered by canoe in Malawi. | Source
OCC shoeboxes delivered by camel in Namibia.
OCC shoeboxes delivered by camel in Namibia. | Source
OCC shoeboxes delivered by raft in Fiji.
OCC shoeboxes delivered by raft in Fiji. | Source
OCC shoeboxes delivered by bike in Uganda.
OCC shoeboxes delivered by bike in Uganda. | Source

Poll: Shoeboxes Through the Years

How long have you been packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child?

See results
A girl holds up a peace sign while playing with the Etch-a-Sketch from her shoebox.
A girl holds up a peace sign while playing with the Etch-a-Sketch from her shoebox. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Franchesca W

    What gifts would you pack for a 10-14 girl?

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      • profile image

        Margie Dillard 

        6 months ago

        Do cloth feminine pads need instructions when sent to other countries? If so, how do we send these instructions in different languages?

      • profile image

        Kevin Clouse 

        8 months ago

        When packing your items for shoe box. Cardboard/stiff paper boxes are better than the plastic tubs. While working at the sorting center, a large number of the plastic tubs came in broken and had to be repacked into cardboard shoe boxes.

      • profile image

        Trina 

        9 months ago

        I made homemade jewelry kits including beads, charms, and string.

      • profile image

        Linda 

        21 months ago

        I have been packing for OCC for several years. Our church is a drop off center and this is the first year I was the one to be there to accept the boxes. What a blessing! This year for the first time OCC had plastic (almost rubber) shoeboxes you could purchase. Check with the Drop off location. The cost isabout $1.50, and won't crack in the shipping as other plastic shoeboxes can. It's a bargain and gives the added benefit of a container to use year round. Go to the Operation Christmas Child website for some great ideas! I suggest using the shoeboxes provided by OCC. 15 of those will fit in the bottom of a shipping carton and plenty of room for more on top. The boot boxes and odd size shoeboxes are frequently used. However, consider using the ones provided. The cardboard shoeboxes are free of charge. More boxes sent per carton means less shipping fee which is already at $9 per shoebox. The simple gift of shopping, packing, giving and delivering your shoebox is the best gift you and your children will ever have. Consider looking for special gifts and bargains all year round. Use your Vacation Bible School or Kids Clubs as venues to encourage the kids to give to others. And do not forget to Pray, Pray, Pray! for that child(ren) who will be receiving your box(es) that they will find the lasting gift of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! Happy gifting!

      • wildsimplicity profile imageAUTHOR

        Franchesca W 

        22 months ago from Atlanta, GA

        Because the rules changed recently and the images haven't yet been updated.

      • profile image

        Melissa 

        22 months ago

        Why does it say NO toothpaste and then later it shows toothpaste? The same with candy.

      • wildsimplicity profile imageAUTHOR

        Franchesca W 

        22 months ago from Atlanta, GA

        @nswanburg77@gmail.com The shoebox should be of "average" size. The boxes provided by Samaritan's Purse are quite small, like a shoebox you'd buy new flats or sandals in. I've used both those and larger boxes from hiking shoes. Extra large shoeboxes limit the number of gifts that can be shipped in each large box which then increases shipping costs for the organization so I'd advise against anything too oversized. I'm not sure about the floss picks but given that they are generally single-use and made of plastic, I think regular floss is a more environmentally conscious idea.

      • profile image

        nswanburg77@gmail.com 

        23 months ago

        I have wanted to do this for many, many years and I am finally going to make it happen this year! I have 6 beautiful kids and I am going to have each of them make a special box for a child in each of the age/gender options. My youngest daughter is 9 years old (with Autism) and she is truly very excited to be giving a gift to another child that she gets to pick out all on her very own. I do want to ask, does the "shoebox" have to be a specific size? Can we select a larger size plastic container from the dollar store? I know my kids, and they are going to want to send so many things that I am afraid it won't all fit. Also, the floss pick like things, are we allowed to send those? I'm asking because they have a sharp point like a toothpick on one side. I admire everyone who participates with this program and I am looking forward to making this a family tradition for each of my children every year at Christmas. God Bless!

      • profile image

        Daphne 

        2 years ago

        The rules have changed for 2017: please do not pack any sort of food items (including candy) and do not pack toothpaste.

      • profile image

        Deanna 

        2 years ago

        love this program. I always pack washcloth, soap, toothbrush combs, necklace, stuffed animal, slinky, hair wraps, sewing kits, crayons, colored pencils, pens markers, small note book, pillow cases, and I always use a plastic shoebox container you can get them for $1 and they can use them for so many things.

      • profile image

        Kim 

        2 years ago

        These are great ideas, thank you so much. I wasn't sure what to pack for a teenage girl until now!

      • profile image

        Akeba 

        3 years ago

        Menstural protection and washing products and include one fun thing for a child that is age approbiate.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        I'm back again! With the holidays approaching I'm getting ready to fill my shoebox with items for young girls ages 5-9. This is my first year participating and I want to get it right. I'm so excited!

      • profile image

        Tee 

        3 years ago

        Just received info from a missionary where they recieve the shoe boxes. And she said she has been in several places that recieve the shoeboxes.

        A few things to keep in.mind. the countries that they deliver too do not get cold weather so no need for scarfs or gloves.

      • Babbyii profile image

        Barb Johnson 

        3 years ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

        Some of the simplest and most practical ideas seem to escape us. Thanks for the informative article. Hope it encourages more support.

      • Joyfulcrown profile image

        Joyfulcrown 

        4 years ago

        I love Operation Christmas Child and what they do for children. I encourage anyone who can to participate, it is worth it.

      • SandyMertens profile image

        Sandy Mertens 

        4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

        This is such a wonderful idea. The best time with the girls shoebox is now.

      • wildsimplicity profile imageAUTHOR

        Franchesca W 

        4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

        @peachpurple & @LadyGuinevere: It's not too late! If you live near one of Operation Christmas Child's processing centers, they accept hand-delivered shoeboxes through the third week of December (this week!) -- and shoeboxes can be mailed to the processing centers all year round! It is also possible to build a shoebox online. You pick what you'd like to include and Samaritan's Purse will make it for you. :)

      • Lady Guinevere profile image

        Debra Allen 

        4 years ago from West By God

        I am going to share this. Even if it might be too late, I think it is never to late to get anykind of gifts such as these.

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        i would like to do that. Where can i participate? I want to send them some shoe box with gifts.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

        I would like to participate in this project. Where would I send the shoeboxes? Excellent and informative article. I voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting. Happy to share this and thanks.

      • carter06 profile image

        Mary 

        4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

        I was glad to read your extensive list ideas wildsimplicity..we pack one up each year and sometimes run out of ideas..your list will help those of us that do..good job

        Cheers

      • truthfornow profile image

        Marie Hurt 

        4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

        This is a really cool project and thoughtful. A good project for children too. Nice of you to think of what the older children might need and what would make them happy.

      • Kathleen Cochran profile image

        Kathleen Cochran 

        4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

        I just did a hub on this topic but yours is full of great information. Hope anyone who read mine will also read yours! Merry!

      • Merrci profile image

        Merry Citarella 

        5 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

        Great lens with great suggestions!

      • HealthfulMD profile image

        Kirsti A. Dyer 

        5 years ago from Northern California

        Great idea.

      • chrisilouwho profile image

        chrisilouwho 

        5 years ago

        Those are wonderful ideas, some I wouldn't have ever thought of, thank you!

      • Elsie Hagley profile image

        Elsie Hagley 

        5 years ago from New Zealand

        Enjoyed this article very much.

        I have never heard of this before but like the idea of a child's shoebox christmas gift.

        Even learnt something, I never knew you could buy reusable cloth menstrual pads, it brings back memories of when I first start my periods in early 1950's before tampax type came into use.

      • Virginia Allain profile image

        Virginia Allain 

        5 years ago from Central Florida

        You've put a lot of thought into this. Very commendable.

      • Joebeducci profile image

        Joebeducci 

        5 years ago

        What a good initiative and a wonderful lens. I donate money, but haven't done this before, maybe I should :) Greets, Joebeducci

      • profile image

        tonyleather 

        5 years ago

        I love the practicality of the suggestions. Great lens!

      • Linda BookLady profile image

        Linda Jo Martin 

        5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

        Our church is doing this too. Great ideas, thanks!

      • profile image

        siskiyoucowgirl 

        5 years ago

        This is an excellent lens and wonderful ideas for an older girls shoebox. My family and I love packing them every year. :) Thank you for sharing!

      • profile image

        DebW07 

        5 years ago

        Our church participates in this wonderful event every year. Great gift ideas and great lens!

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