Each year Bethlehem Child Care Center collects items to pack in shoeboxes that will be sent to children throughout the world. We donate through a program called, Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan’s Purse. The organization has distributed more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 150 countries since 1993! They have collection sites throughout the United States and we are fortunate that Minneapolis is one of these sites.
We ask families to donate items (suggestions below) over the next couple of weeks and then during the week of November 14 the children will work with their teachers and other classmates to pack shoeboxes which will be brought to the local drop site.
The items need to be small enough to fit in a shoebox – we like to fill shoeboxes with many items so small is a good thing. Also, over the years we’ve discovered that the items from the Dollar Store type stores do not hold up and since this gift may be the only gift many of these children ever receive we’d encourage you to purchase items that are more sturdy or of better quality.
If you want to see ideas by age group you can visit: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/what-goes-in-my-shoebox-suggestions/
Ideas include: Soccer ball with pump, Stuffed animal, Toys (puppets, trucks, etc.), Doll (baby, Barbie, etc.), Musical instrument, Outfit, Shoes
Toys: Include items that children will immediately embrace such as toy cars, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.
School Supplies: pens, pencils and sharpeners, crayons, markers, notebooks, paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
Non-liquid Hygiene Items: toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, etc.
Accessories: T-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, hair clips, jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), etc.
Crafts: Make your own items such as hair bows, finger puppets, and friendship bracelets.
A Personal Note: You may enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself, your family, or group. If you include your name and an address, the child may be able to write back.
Candy specifications: During 2016, the following types of candy can be included in shoebox gifts: hard candy, gummy bears, caramels, taffy, and gum—if its expiration date is at least six months after National Collection Week: Nov. 14-21, 2016.
Toothpaste specifications: Toothpaste can be included this year if its expiration date is at least six months after National Collection Week: Nov. 14-21, 2016.
Do Not Include
Used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; out-of-date candy; fruit rolls or other fruit snacks; drink mixes (powdered or liquid); liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers; aerosol cans.