BCCC Community Event: Operation Christmas Child


This year we will again be packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child (OCC), a project dedicated to bringing Christmas joy and the love of God to needy children around the world.  We will fill shoeboxes with small gifts for girls and boys who are suffering from natural disaster, poverty, illness or neglect.  OCC includes an illustrated booklet, in the child’s native language, telling the story of Jesus’ love. Since the program began in 1993, OCC has delivered shoeboxes to over 157 million children in more than 100 countries!  Annually, BCCC sends between 29 – 50 boxes. We will be able to track the boxes prepared by BCCC children to learn which country they reach. 

What can you do? If you and your family would donate new items like: small toys, games, school supplies or hygiene items to this project that would be great!  Most of the children who will receive our shoeboxes may not have other toys or supplies and may never receive another gift, so consider durability when purchasing items.  

We will involve the children in this project throughout the first weeks of November by talking about being thankful, sharing with others and learning about other children around the world. Between November 7th and the 16th the children will work in small groups, with the guidance from a teacher, to pack a box for either a boy or girl in a specific age category.  Our children will use items donated from our families to carefully select what they each feel the recipient would love to receive.

Please bring your donations between October 29 and November 9.  There will be large boxes in the hallway marked “OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD”.

Here are some suggestions of items you may want to donate:

All items are packed inside a shoebox, so please keep that in mind when purchasing items.  We try to pack 1 “Wow” item and many items from other categories.

Examples for “Wow” Items:

  • • Doll (consider adding doll clothes or doll brush)
  • • Soccer ball (include a manual pump so ball can be re-inflated)
  • • Stuffed animal (small enough to leave room in the shoe box for other items)
  • • An outfit of clothing to wear
  • • Small musical instrument (harmonica, woodwind recorder)

Examples of Toys:

  • • Foam ball, tennis balls
  • • Kickball/soccer ball (include manual air pump)
  • • Plastic dinosaurs, animals
  • • Dress-up items: costume jewelry & crown
  • • Toy cars
  • • Yo-yo
  • • Small frisbee
  • • Small kite
  • • Hacky sack
  • • Etch-a-Sketch

Examples for Personal Care Items:

  • • Comb, hairbrush
  • • Toothbrush (no toothpaste)
  • • Washcloth
  • • Bar soap (packaged and/or in a container)
  • • Adhesive bandages (colorful ones- no superhero.  Do not include liquid antibiotic ointment)
  • • Reusable plastic containers: cup, water bottle, plate, bowl, blunt-edge utensils)
    • o Consider filling an empty container with non-liquid items such as hair bows, bracelets, sunglasses, markers, washcloth
    • • Blanket
    • • Non-liquid lip balm
    • • Flashlight (solar powered or hand-crank; if battery operated, include extra batteries)
    • • Compact mirror (glass is ok, if it is a compact)

Examples of Crafts and Activities:

    • • Coloring books (small enough to fit in shoebox)
    • • Watercolor set
    • • Paper
    • • Puzzles
    • • Stickers
    • • Chalkboard and chalk
    • • Binoculars
    • • Jump rope
    • • Tool set
    • • Playdough and plastic cookie cutters
    • • Marbles
    • • Magnets
    • • Sewing kit
    • • Fishing kit
    • • Gardening kit (do not include seeds)
    • • Playing cards

Examples of School Supplies:

    • • Pencils/colored pencils
    • • Small manual pencil sharpener
    • • Pencil case
    • • Pens
    • • Crayons
    • • Markers
    • • Small notebooks
    • • Blank index cards
    • • Solar-powered calculator
    • • Safety (blunt tip) scissors
    • • Ruler
    • • Protractor
    • • Glue stick (no liquid glue)
    • • Small adhesive tape

Examples of Clothing & Accessories:

    • • Underwear
    • • Shirts and pants
    • • Pillowcase dress (loose-fitting sundress)
    • • Socks & shoes
    • • Flip-flops
    • • Hat/scarf/mittens
    • • Sunglasses
    • • Wrist watch
    • • Hair bows
    • • Friendship bracelets

You may send a note/card for a shoebox and a photo of your child or family.  You have the option to include your name and address (or use Bethlehem’s) and the child may be able to write back.

Do Not Include:

Candy; toothpaste; used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; seeds; 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.

You can find out more about Operation Christmas Child at: samaritanspurse.org/occ