Operation Christmas Child is Right Around the Corner

I love seeing the items grow in our basement for Operation Christmas Child. Okay, well, they don’t just grow by themselves, I should say they’re purchased! Anna and Mary diligently work at finding great deals throughout the year.ย 

The National Collection Week is in just one month, so if you’ve been thinking about participating, please don’t delay!

Anna, Mary, Anna Marie, and most of the nieces and nephews went shopping at back to school time in August. This was the perfect opportunity to get practical supplies for the boxes.

Currently, Anna and Mary are spending individual one-on-one time with the littles and letting them come over and help with shoebox projects. It’s adorable to see!

Two things to note when purchasing items: toothpaste and candy (crying face here!) are no longer allowed due to customs’ regulations. I know the Lord will give creativity when it comes to replacing those two items, as those both were favorites in our boxes.

So, we’d love to hear, how many of our readers are doing OCC? Please post below!


There’s a lot of action to process here!

Awesome selfie!
Sweet Anna Marie and Daniel and Lydia
The girls planned for a snack time in the parking lot of Goldfish afterward. Smart move.
Sweet sisters

Lydia stacked erasers in a box.
I wish you could have heard her little sweet voice. Totally melt-worthy!
Anna, Mary, and Lydia Maxwell
Counting stuffed animals

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To
visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep
himself unspotted from the world.”
James 1:27

35 thoughts on “Operation Christmas Child is Right Around the Corner”

  1. Yes, we love OCC here. Have been participating for many years! Honestly I love picking out the little girl things,(pink and cute), however last year I packed a box for a young man and literally had SO much fun. It took me back to when I had a little man in my house to purchase “big boy” stuff for (hand tools etc.). I will do that again this year as well. I believe this is the least packed for of all boxes. We also love packing for young ladies now since Storm is learning to sew. She really enjoys knowing how the items will change a girls life.


    1. Johnna,

      Love your comments! I think the young guys category can be lacking, so it’s great when people will do boxes for them. Sewing things are great for girls! Good ideas.

  2. Our church is doing it for the first time this year! I’m looking forward to doing it.

    It looks like you’re having as much fun shopping for stuff as my father(who is having a blast shopping!)!

  3. Our church is doing OCC this year for the first time. We are going to invite our neighbors and have a packing party to fill shoe boxes. I have wanted to do it ever since I started reading your blog and found out about it, and I am excited we are doing it this year.

  4. How joyful to see the whole extended family working together for Operation Christmas Child! What a blessing to so many children!

    I read about Mr John’s blessing from the Lord of a sweet helpmeet in Chelsy. Our love to them both, and to you all as you join with another Godly family in His service! Praise Him!

  5. We are also doing OCC. We have been buying things all year. Next week we will do inventory to see what we are missing!

    My kids were super sad to see that candy was no longer allowed. I heard it has to do with expiration dates. Boxes were being denied in certain countries because expiration dates had already passed on the toothpaste and candy.

  6. The grandkids are so cute! Were Joshua and Andrew there? I bet they would have enjoyed picking stuff out for the boy boxes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. After seeing your post last year and now this year, I’ve been encouraged to do Operation Christmas with my 5 little ones this year. My husband and I are planning to do it as part of our children’s Christmas gift. We want to teach them that Christmas should be about giving and not getting. Thanks for being a blessing and encouragement to our family through your blog, and sharing some of your ideas along with the sweet pictures!

  8. We love Operation Christmas Child! We’ve been packing boxes since my kids were preschoolers, and now they’re teens. We try to pack boxes for children in the general age range of our kids, so now we do boxes for the oldest age ranges. For the boys, we buy soccer balls and manual ball pumps, then deflate the balls to fit them into the box. For the girls’ boxes, since my 13-year-old daughter loves to crochet and knit, we are including crochet hooks and yarn, plus something handmade like a scarf my daughter has made.

    We also buy school supplies in July/August when they are on sale to send in our boxes, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised how many things we’ve been able to collect through the year that are perfect to include in our OCC boxes – like notepads from realtor solicitations that come in the mail, and cups/pens/water bottles given to us as advertisements.

    Some years we send flip flops, and some years we send socks. It’s amazing how the Lord directs those boxes to children in the right climate based on what we send. ๐Ÿ™‚ Last year, my son’s cross country running team had a t-shirt fundraiser, so we bought t-shirts for each of our OCC boxes.

    Your family gave us the idea several years ago to include more useful items, so we now buy tools for the boys’ boxes and sewing kits for the girls’ boxes as well. Kleenex, wash cloths, toothbrushes, combs, brushes, hair bands or head bands, and kids’ magazines like Clubhouse, World Kids, and Ranger Rick also go in our boxes.

  9. Our family is putting together a few boxes and this year we will all be able to go with our church to help at the Distribution Center in Denver since our youngest is now 13.

  10. I have done shoeboxes since I was a young girl, and now I have the privilege of being the OCC project leader in our church! It’s so fun and exciting to get others involved with the project!
    I have also been able to help at the Baltimore processing center the last two years, which is such a great way to really get an idea of the huge community of believers involved in blessing children all around the world.

  11. We are! Not sure how many boxes we’ll be able to do since the shipping cost went up, but we love participating every year. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Our family has been doing OCC for about 14 years and we love it! The kids really look forward to it every year. We do five boxes and usually shop for the older boys and girls since we heard that those boxes are sometimes in short supply. Since we don’t celebrate Halloween, we began the tradition of shopping for the boxes on October 31, where we go out as a family and turn the evening into a time of outreach and ministry.

  13. We do one box for each of our children. We pray about what we should put in and then let the kids make the decisions (they are 9-18 years old). Last year I sewed cinch backpacks for each box and also a skirt and a matching skirt for a doll for my daughter’s box. I love that my kids save up their money so they can buy most of the items themselves. It is so sweet to see them super excited to give these gifts.

  14. We are doing our shoeboxes in the UK!
    Children love to do it, teaches them also to think of others!

  15. I love OCC. What a sweet thing you gals are doing!! Children who get these gifts will surely be blessed. I’ve never heard of Goldfish, is it like a Walmart? We have astore called Five Below that I like to go for OCC things, have you heard of it? They have such good deals!!

  16. We love doing OCC too! Iโ€™m sure doing it with the children makes it even more fun! Canโ€™t wait until Jubilee can participate too. We try to do more of the older boysโ€™ boxes since they get fewer donations and love finding them some tools and things like that. Such a blessing! Love all your pictures!

  17. We love doing OCC. We’ve been doing it for the past three years, I think. I’m excited to pack this year. We’ll be doing that in November. We really like shopping at Walmart – they’ve got great deals. Dollar Tree is good for getting baby dolls and stuffed animals. I like packing girl boxes, but we try to do the older boy boxes too because we’ve heard not many do them. Walmart is a great place to get tools for them. How many boxes do y’all pack?

    1. I’m so glad y’all are doing OCC! Yes, WalMart and Dollar Tree are great resources. Older boy boxes are definitely good to do! It’s true. When we processed at the OCC Center last year, that age range was not very common. The girls are trying to pack a lot–they did a fundraiser a few months ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

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