49 Christmas Shoe Box Stuffing Ideas

Updated for 2015

Operation Christmas Child helps millions annually.

The annual “Operation Christmas Child” shoe box gift appeal by Samaritan’s Purse is about to get started. In the United States, the 2015 collection week is November 16-23; in Canada it is November 16-22. Other participating countries likely have their own collection times.

My family has been packing shoe boxes for years, filling them up with all kinds of stuff for young boys and girls. We pack four boxes annually — two boxes for girls and two boxes for boys. I’m still maintaining an information page about this annual campaign — A Shoebox Full of Love: Operation Christmas Child — and regularly refer people to Samaritan Purse’s web page for detailed instructions.

Praise God

I am also thrilled and praising God that in 2009 — a very difficult year for many people — more than 8.2 million boxes were donated. That’s amazing — so many people lost their homes, jobs and had other difficulties last year, but people still gave.

On occasion, someone will ask me what they should put in their shoe box. Well, start off with supplying love by praying to God to ask Him to bless the child who will receive your gift. Then, head off to the store and pick up items a child would love to receive including items on this list of 49 Christmas Shoe Box Stuffing Ideas:

Stuffed animalWashclothesWriting paperBooksPersonal noteBall capHair braids
Silly bandsToothbrushPensFlashlightPicturesJacksToy jewelry
Yo-YoHard candiesPencilsBatteriesStickersCarsDoll
PuzzlesT-shirtErasersDecorationsColoring bookFlash cardsJump rope
HarmonicaSunglassesStick glueFirst aid kitCrayonsPlaying cardsGloves
Play doughCombScissorsSudokuBibleChalkHat
Squeeze ballBar soapSupply pouchStickersDevotionalMarkersWatch

Some Tips

This list includes my ideas — you can add your own, but please do not send anything well used, breakable, war themed, food and other questionable items. Your package — even if you choose to wrap it — is inspected before it ships.

Finally, please include a check covering the cost of shipment for each box. Samaritan’s Purse is asking for you to donate at least $7 per box to help defray shipping costs. You’ll also be able to track your gift to find out which country it was sent to.

Please Pray

Remember — pray for the child who will be receiving your gift and please pray for this year’s campaign.

To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the lifegate that all may go in.

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  1. Adriana & Family says:

    What a timely stumbleupon…we just finished up our Operation Christmas Child boxes….2 boys and 2 girls. We look for stuff all year long to use in the boxes, and my boys love filling them up. We included the printout from the OCC website that gives the received info on our kids, plus a picture and a self addressed envelope, in the hopes that they could write to us! What a blessing@

  2. Matthew C. Keegan says:

    Adriana, I like the idea of sending along personal information about you and your family to the children. We should do that beginning next year. Like us, we do boxes for two boys and two girls. This year, our two children did all of the packing — they couldn’t get enough of wanting to personalize each box!

  3. Just a note – you cannot put cough drops in – they are on the ‘forbidden’ list.

  4. Matthew C. Keegan says:

    Thank you, Theresa. I updated my list, removing “cough drops” and adding “stickers” in its place.


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