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{Operation Christmas Child} How To Pack A Shoebox At Dollar Tree!

HowToPackA ShoeboxHeaderHave you packed your shoebox yet?

It’s Operation Christmas Child time again, and I’ve finally got our box packed and ready to go!

Every year, Samaritan’s Purse collects shoeboxes packed with toys, school supplies, personal care items and more, and distributes them around the world to children, regardless of race, gender or religion!  It’s a awesome way to share God’s love and the spirit of Christmas with a child that needs it.

Shopping for and packing a shoebox is so much fun, and it’s a great way to involve your kids in giving back at Christmas time.

This year, there are a few newer rules about what we’re allowed to pack.  From the Samaritan’s Purse website:


  • Decks of standard playing cards (other card games such as UNO are allowed)
  • Food or candy: Including gum (due to customs regulations)
  • Used items (due to customs regulations)
  • Toothpaste (due to customs regulations)
  • Liquids or items that could leak, melt, freeze, or break – Shampoo, creams, lip balm, bath gels, mirrors, or glass, etc. (these can damage other items in the shoebox).
  • Items that can scare or harm a child – War-related toys, knives, and toy guns, etc.

So what CAN you pack?

What To Pack In Your Operation Christmas Child Shoebox:

    • toothbrush
    • hairbrush
    • story books
    • Slinky
    • small ball (like a tennis ball)
    • non-white doll
    • notebook
    • pens
    • pencils
    • pencil crayons
    • crayons
    • scissors
    • stickers & sticker book
    • beach ball
    • small toys
    • hair clips, barrettes, cloth elastics
    • magnetic travel games
    • unbreakable water bottle
    • beads and cord
    • inexpensive jewellry
    • baseball cap
    • solar-powered or wind-up flashlight
    • Hot Wheels cars
    • pencil sharpener
    • colouring book
    • skipping rope
    • ruler
    • plastic cup
    • silly straw
    • compact fabric tote bag

I’m sure you can think of even more ideas of what to pack in your shoebox!  Take a look at what we’re filling ours with in the video below:

I’d love to hear what you’ve packed in your shoebox this year! 

Let me know in the comment section below.

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    That is a really great thing to do! We usually adopt a family at Christmas through our local church. The kids all list things they want and we get them what they want/need.

  2. Alli

    We love supporting Operation Christmas Child. When my daughter was in high school, she volunteered at the collection center. I’m so glad you shared this new list of what items can be packed and which ones cannot. This is such a great outreach.
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  3. Miranda (Myrabev)

    This is a great way to share the christmas spirit, we do something similar at my church too
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  4. Lisa

    We are packing our shoe box TOMORROW, because the last day for us to turn it in to our church is on Sunday. I lead the pre-teen ministry at our church, and we teach them how to serve others! They’re so excited to turn in their shoe boxes as well!
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  5. Savannah Miller

    I never did the shoebox Christmas thing. My church has a “wish tree” and families who don’t have much can put an envelope onto the tree with a wish inside. Other church members can take the envelopes and purchase their “wish” for them and leave it under the tree with their envelope taped to the top.
    I love giving back during the holidays I may buy a shoebox and do this as well 🙂

  6. Heather

    Awe! This is great. We do Christmas Angel, but operating Christmas child seems better in that you can pack more than one thing to a child. I wonder why playing cards aren’t allowed. That seems weird. Seems like a universal game anyone from any country can play.
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  7. Cassie

    Operation Christmas Child really is a great program. Thank you for reminding us how easy and inexpensive it is to make a child’s holidays so much happier.
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  8. Lisa

    Love this list. We went and did our boxes last weekend at Target. The kids had a great time picking things out.
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  9. Wood Arts Universe

    It’s nice to know that there are groups or organization that do this for the children in the world regardless of any race. I’m sure the children who will receive your shoeboxes will be happy to open it.
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  10. Chantal

    I used to vounteer at the Operation Christmas Child warehouse in Ontario and I absolutely loved it! Your tips especially about not including liquid is so important! Thanks for sharing this great cause!
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  11. Amanda Tempel

    I actually hadn’t heard of Operation Christmas, but this is definitely something I’d love to participate in. What a great way to help out!
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  12. coolchillmom

    I love this program. We are very ready to pack our box this year
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  13. Penny Struebig

    What a wonderful thing to do! Just thinking about what I was going to do this Christmas season. I’ll have to check to see if anyone in our area is collecting boxes like this.

  14. Marielle Altenor

    What a great way to truly celebrate the holidays by giving back! I love this shoebox idea!
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  15. Amanda @ Adorkablii

    I never heard of Operation Christmas Child. This is pretty amazing. I love finding ways to give back and I think this is pretty awesome! I am gonna look more into it for sure!

  16. Laurie Cares

    Megan, great post and video. Operation Christmas Child is a wonderful organization. We have filled many boxes when our daughter was younger. This year, I picked up 3 T-shirts, 2 pairs of crocks, and 3 pairs of socks for our local drop off location to put into some of the boxes that need a little extra inside. I think it’s great to try to balance the practical stuff with the fun stuff. I am new to blogging and was planning to write a post about this, but maybe for this year, I’ll just point people in your direction!

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