Operation Christmas Child Packing Party!

After telling how Operation Christmas Child started, who and where the boxes go, 50+ gifts ideas for the boxes, and how to pack the box, today I want to tell you one more way to make this gift giving that much more fun!

Hosting a Packing Party for Operation Christmas Child


Don't get me wrong, packing a box or boxes with your immediate family and littles is tons of fun and offers a great teachable moments but who doesn't like a party. There are lots of different ways you could do it so these are just thoughts I've come up with.


The Church at The Valley has been collecting items for OCC boxes. We split it up into 5 weeks:

  • 10/20 – Hygiene (soap, tooth paste, tooth-brush, combs, hair brushes, etc.) No Lotions, or liquids
  • 10/27 – School Supplies (pens, crayons, markers, color books, paper, etc.)
  • 11/3 – Small Toys (dolls, balls, slinky, flashlight, etc.)
  • 11/10 Accessories (glasses, necklaces, bracelets, hats, etc.)
  • 11/17 – Batteries (AA), Plastic boxes (shoebox size with a lid)

This just helps people focus on different categories each week and keep it at the front of their minds. After these 5 weeks, we will be hosting a packing party in our building {right before National Collection week (Nov. 18-25) ends}.

During the party,we will have

  1. christmas music playing to get everyone in the Christmasy spirit
  2. snackage, because its not a party without food {likely Christmasy}
  3. plastic baggies available
  4. rubber-bands for closing boxes
  5. plastic {lidded} boxes {this allows the recipient to re-purpose the box as a gift as well}
  6. signs labeling box item categories
  7. a long table or multiple tables with the different categories sorted
  8. printed labels with boy/girl and the ages on them

Individuals will choose a label they would like to fill a box for {boy or girl and then what age group}. Then they will travel through along the table(s) with their empty boxes collecting items. Having the items sorted with ensure that every child's box gets at least one thing from each category but of course there will likely be more than one {especially TOYS}. 😉 After they've collected items, they will find a spot to sit with their box and play a little OCC tetras. Trying to cram as much goodness into one box is the goal. When their box is as full as possible they will write a short note to their child and take a picture with their box to include inside the box. They will NOT tape the box shut but rather rubber-band the boxes closed so those at the warehouses can go through them making sure everything is packed appropriately and each item is acceptable.

When everyone has completed all the boxes provided, we will pray over the boxes. {Those at the warehouse will also be praying over every box as well. So cool!} We will plan a time where someone in the valley will take all of our boxes to the local collection site.

Deliver OCC boxes

NOTE: all items {other than soap and such} will be removed all items from packaging.WHY?

  • provides more space in the box
  • most places these boxes are going do not have trash disposal systems in place which would leave them with lots of garbage
  • you can split up items: bags of hard candy {but will need to bag them}, packs of multiple items {bouncy balls for all}, etc


I've known someone who have attempted to have a party with friends where they just brought their items and sat to pack them together. She put tons of work into it and no one came. She found out that they weren't coming because they hadn't had the time to collect items on their own {or forgot}. The next year, she decided to ask for $20 donations, she found and bought all the items over a period of time using that money, and then hosted a packing party with those who donated so they could all stuff boxes with the items she had found. THAT worked Much better!

Keep in mind, the OCC organization request that you include $7 for the shipping fees of each box.

Here is a Packing Party evite you can print so you don't have to make your own.

Here you can find more tips, free materials , silly ice breaks, as well as additional resources that are available for your packing party .


You can also go online to Follow You Shoe Box. SO FUN! We did this last year and found out where our box traveled. {note: this does require making your shipping donation online}This gave my children an opportunity to learn about a new country while having a personal attachment to the people who  live there!

If you have other fun ideas, Please share in the comment section.

Here is the Journey of a Shoe Box via Samaritan's Purse. If you feel like you won't have time this year to host a party or even physically pack a box, I encourage you to Build a Box Online!!! Keep in mind, online boxes are going to the hardest to reach countries, so this is an incredible opportunity. There are also volunteer opportunities. Although all of them seemed to be filled this year, consider planning ahead for next year.

Have fun!!!

saving the world one shoebox at a time

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  1. Thanks for sharing about the packing party! Definitely planning one next year. I LOVE that last image! 🙂 My girls love to do their shoeboxes.
    Joyce recently posted..Our Week in Photos (Week 45 of 52)My Profile

    • I’m so excited to see how our packing party goes this year and can’t wait to share if I learn any helpful hints in the process.
      Loved heading over and hear/seeing about your experiences this year with your girls {LOVE that you wrap the boxes!}.

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