8 Ways To Get Involved With Operation Christmas Child

Around these parts is a year-long, family-involved project. I love the fact that through this simple idea of a shoebox filled with goodies that children in impoverished parts of the world will receive hope, love, a smile and hope from Jesus and that we here in America can teach our kids to give to those less fortunate. If you’d like to get involved stick around as today we’re dreaming of simple ways for you to help out. I thought I’d put together a few for you too.

1) Start a tote now.
I’ve got a bin downstairs that’s already full and it’s only February. It’s never too early to start collecting and now’s a great time to buy a bin, label it OCC and start putting goodies in.

2) Ask your dentist for donations.
One year a friend gathered around 100 kid toothbrushes because his dentist had ordered a bunch in and they’d got his name wrong. Although the dentist couldn’t use them, we could. If everyone asked their dentist for donations of brushes and paste, we’d get a ton of donations. I do know that plenty of dental reps give out free samples and if you can get your hands on those that’d be fab too!

3) Gather hotel soaps.
Planning a trip this year? most people take their own soap but if you’re staying in a hotel you get new soap. Grab it each day and then they’ll re-stock for as long as you stay there. Ask friends who travel for business to stock up for you.

4) Get baby food containers.
Last year we made a real push towards craft kits for the kids. They’re simple, fun, practical and can be made with odds and ends that you may not use but kids can. This year our push is for these Homemade Craft Kits. Are you a MOPS group? MOMS group? School? Then we need your help! Please ask your Dad and Mom friends to wash out plastic baby food containers and use them for the kits. I’ll take them off your hands if you live in Chicagoland.

5) Ask for donations of craft materials.
Maybe your Grandma used to knit but sadly no longer can. Chances are her house is full of yarn and yarn makes a great OCC item. Or how about you? Got buttons from a jacket you no longer own? Scraps of material? Stickers? Paper pieces from scrapbooking? All those items are great for our homemade craft kits so gather them up and donate them.

6) Ask friends/relatives/strangers to clean out their closets.
Last year my MOPS group cleaned out their craft closet and I got two bags full of goodies to use. A local company sent me a bunch of their “leftover” coloring books and crayons.

7) Ask neighbors.
A couple of years back I dropped off a notice to everyone on our block asking for school supplies for OCC. I then went back in a week to people and filled a back with goodies.

8) Collect promo items.
Ask around offices to see if they can spare some pens or pads of paper. Chances are people are hapy to give. That goes for crayons from restaurants too. While you’re grabbing some for your kids ask if you can have a couple more packs for OCC.

Live in Chicagoland? This year the Mummy Deals community is aiming for 1000 boxes and you can join in too. Gather goodies and email me for pickup/to meet. We’ll have a Packing Party in November 2012.

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