Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Braided Hairband Tutorial

Well, whether you choose to cut up a tshirt specifically to make this... OR you have enough leftover from making the tshirt totebag or backpack or other craft... this is a great project for the shoeboxes. Find instructions at http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2011/06/repurposing-tshirts-into-5-strand-braided-headbands.html (The model in the tutorial is worth the visit in and of itself. What a cutie!)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

ToysRUs Crayolas and Coupons

This week ToysRUs once again has the crayola crayon deal of 4 for $1. This is a GREAT price for crayola. Also today's paper has a LOT of good coupons! From RoseArt to toothpaste to soap! Great stuff for the shoeboxes.

Cloth Chalkboard

I love this idea for the shoebox... include some chalk (perhaps both white and colored).. and they can practice writing or drawing without paper.

The instructions can be found at http://museofthemorning.com/museblog/sewing-creations/fabric-chalkboard-tutorial

If necessary scale the instructions to fit in your shoebox. :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Staples Deals 7/29

Note: one of the below deals is better if you get this week's Sunday paper and the coupon in them as noted. Some require a $5 purchase to qualify. The cost of the photo paper will qualify you and then has an easy rebate. Or I really like the small size white boards they have in the school supply area for $1 each as they fit in the shoeboxes well and can be reused for school work over and over.

These deals were found at http://www.passionforsavings.com
$1/2 Bic Stationery Product (SS 07/29/12)
FREE wyb 2 after coupon!

Free Toothpaste at Rite Aid 7/29- 8/4

Found at clipwithpurpose.com
Crest Toothpaste $3
Receive a $3 +Up Reward when you buy one (limit 2)
Use $0.75/1 from 7/1 P&G
Final Price: money maker with coupon, free without!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Operation Christmas Child reaching the lost

Another video showing the great work being done through this ministry. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Garage Sales and Thrift Stores

For Operation Christmas Child you can ONLY put in new items or handmade items but that does not mean you can't have great finds from garage sales and thrift stores! I have found many items still in packages, new, and unused at GREAT prices!

Some items I have found new include, balls, socks, clothing, craft supplies, and even toys.

And sometimes I buy items used to make into something new...  t-shirt totes and backpacks can be made from t-shirts that are in good condition. Pillowcases in good condition can be made into pillowcase dresses. (In fact some of them are lovely with embroidery!)

One of my favorite OCC bloggers bought a LOAD of brand new matchbox cars at a steal of a deal at a garage sale, giving her an even better deal when they found out that this is for OCC.

If you love garage sales and thrift stores, do not forget to keep an eye out for items for the shoeboxes. There are a lot of great finds out there, just waiting for you to discover! Happy hunting!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wooden Tops

So simple! So quick! And a cute idea for the boys boxes. Sometimes it feels like crafts favor being made by and for girls... but this one is universal. These were made BY preschoolers so I know we all can manage this one.

Instructions and some VERY cute pictures can be found at http://kleas.typepad.com/kleas/2011/02/simple-wooden-tops.html#

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Ah, the joy of multipacks! 

With multipacks I can buy MORE for LESS! 

If you pack many boxes this is a great way to save... if you only pack one or two, perhaps you can pack boxes with others so that you can take advantage of the savings. 

Here are some examples of great multipacks:  

Pencils - whether simple yellow school pencils from back to school sales (sometimes just a penny at stores like Staples) or clearanced decorative pencils these are a natural for multipack savings.

Pencil Sharpeners - Dollar Tree has a 12 pack for a dollar

Pens - back to school sales, yay.

Washcloths - Walmart sells packs of 18 for just $4 all the time, other stores often have sales or clearances of holiday or last seasons colors.

Soap - 3packs at the dollar store or multipacks on sale or with coupon are another natural multipack

Socks- these often come in 3 packs or more

Combs- 12 packs at the dollar store!

Hair accessories - hairbands, hairclips, ponytail holders, etc

Matchbox Cars- often go on sale in 5 packs

Playdough - multipacks are often on sale, and sometimes have coupons

Party Favors- mardi gras necklaces, noisemakers, small toys, etc

Stickers- whether books or rolls, there are often enough to share

You can also order in bulk - from amazon (perhaps to reach your free shipping on a different order) or oriental trading company, or even e-bay.

Items such as: toy gliders, bouncy balls, magnifying glasses (plastic), finger puppets, or puppets (often in multipacks)

Can you tell I love MULTIPACKS???? 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

In honor of the Olympics.... sports theme boxes revisited

Hey all! I wonder if you are excited about the Olympics! I sure am! YAY! A few months ago I posted on the idea of making a sports theme box at http://klamathocc.blogspot.com/2012/03/sports-theme-box.html but I wanted to bring that idea back as we focus on the joy of sports around the world in the next weeks.

I loved these videos made in England (home of the 2012 Olympics) for Operation Christmas Child. I hope you also enjoy them.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Shoebox deals from Rite Aid and Staples week of 7/22

From RITE AID (thanks clipwithpurpose.com)
Crest Pro Health Toothpaste $2.99
Submit for $2.99 Rite Aid Single Check Rebate (limit 1) FREE
If you have the 75cents off 1 from 7/1 P&G mailer it is a 75 cent money maker

Extra, Stride or Orbit Gum $1
Receive a $1 +Up when you buy 2 (limit 4)
Use  $0.50/1 Extra Gum from All You Magazine (July)
and Use $.50/1 Rite Aid coupon for Extra
or Use $0.25/1 Stride printable Coupon 
or Use $0.50/2 Extra printable coupon
Cheap to free, depending on which coupons.

PLUS the STAPLES DEALS starting July 22
After Easy Rebate:
Zebra #2 0.7mm Mechanical Pencils (710706) - 10 pack - FREE
Pentel R.S.V.P. Ballpoint Pens (474054) - 5 pack - FREE
Staples Multipurpose Paper (513099) - $1.00
HP 8.5" x 11" Photo Paper (809757) - 50pack - $1.00

With $5 purchase:
Pink Cap Erasers (167601) - 12 pack - $0.01
3 x 5 Index Cards (296608) - 100 pack - $0.01

Plus there has been a printable $5 off $30 coupon on staples most weeks, so if you are spending that much, check their website. 

Cambodian Distribution Video 2012

I never get tired of these videos.... so pardon me if you do. To see the precious children receiving the shoeboxes... THIS is why we do this. So many things are the same from distribution from distribution... patient children receiving boxes, prayer, smiles, laughter, JOY. And to know that the gospel message goes forth with LOVE is overwhelming. So, enjoy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Princess Wooden Dolls with Backdrop (and a set for boys)

A bit ago I posted how to paint clothespin dolls http://klamathocc.blogspot.com/2012/07/clothespin-doll-tutorial.html, and while poking around kept finding MORE ideas and will likely be doing more of these posts in the future, but whatever I decide THEN I had to post these NOW cause they are cute beyond belief!

DISNEY PRINCESS DOLLS... with an adorable printable background! I think a set of these would be SO sweet in a shoebox... although I doubt I would do ALL the princesses... even a few with the backdrop would be such a blessing! I can imagine the hours and hours of imaginative play that would be possible!

Full instructions and the printable can be found at http://www.lilblueboo.com/2011/11/a-box-o-princesses-a-tutorial-and-download.html#

They also have a boyville version at http://www.lilblueboo.com/2011/11/boyville-a-tutorial-and-download.html

One more shoutout.. I loved the versions of these done at http://craftmethis.blogspot.com/2011/12/wooden-peg-dolls.html

If you are doing just a few the local craft store, especially with a coupon is a good source for the doll parts.. but if you think this could be a bigger project you might want to consider buying at an online supplier like http://www.craftparts.com/toy-parts-wooden-little-people-wooden-c-187_248.html where you can buy for less as you buy more.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Felt Crayon Holder

Another fun idea from Project Four 14

This simple crayon holder holds crayons or colored pencils and a small notebook in a cute package that can be changed up to fit boy or girl or any theme you want. Learn how at http://project414.com/2011/09/10/hello-kitty-felt-crayon-holder/

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

25 Free Photo Prints

From MoneySavingMom.com:

Walmart: 25 free photo prints Sign up for a free Walmart.com photo account and you’ll receive a coupon code for 25 free 4×6 photo prints via email. Choose to pick up your prints in store and your order will be completely free!

The above picture was from the Uganda distribution with members from our area team.

Please include a picture and note in your shoeboxes... we often hear how the pictures are treasured for years, long after the items in the box are used up or outgrown. And this is a FREE way to get some pictures printed. 

And the Deaf Shall Hear

Here in Southern Oregon we have chosen to pray for the Philippines, but no matter where you are, I have a feeling you will be touched by this video, of Operation Christmas Child working with these precious deaf children. I know I needed a kleenex or two. Enjoy.

Facebook and OCC

If you are on Facebook there are SO many great pages for you to follow.

Operation Christmas Child has their own page here in the US that is a great place to start at https://www.facebook.com/OCCshoeboxes

Then there are pages from around the world!! Canada, the UK, Australia etc all have facebook pages. https://www.facebook.com/OCCcanada https://www.facebook.com/occuk https://www.facebook.com/operationchristmaschild.anz Keep in mind sometimes requirements and limitations are different from different countries.. so do not be thrown when they say no toothpaste or no knit dolls for instance as these vary country by country and ARE allowed in the US.

Localities have pages too. We have our own for Southern Oregon at https://www.facebook.com/OperationChristmasChildSouthernOregon

And groups around the nation have their own pages! If you do a search you may find one near you!

Some of my favorite OCC sites have pages too.. Clip With Purpose https://www.facebook.com/ClipwithPurpose and Packing Boxes of Love https://www.facebook.com/pages/Packing-Boxes-of-Love and so many many more.

A new page I found is for those of us who love to CRAFT for OCC. If you are a crafter CHECK IT OUT! https://www.facebook.com/craftingforshoeboxes

 OCC is all over the internet... blogs, facebook, pinterest, twitter. If you are plugged in online, you have SO many avenues to learn more ways to save and create and be inspired!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Free Pens at Staples

FREE FREE FREE!!! Goodness how I love FREE things for our shoeboxes!!! Get a pack of free pens for the shoeboxes at Staples this week. How???

From MoneySavingMom: 

Print a $2/1 Zebra Pens coupon.
Staples has 5-count packages of Zebra pens on sale for $1 this week, making them free after this coupon.

Video: Operation Christmas Child: From One Community To Another (2012) UK.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Crayola Deal

Yahoo!  Toys R us has 24 packs of Crayola crayons 4 for $1 this week!  Must by in quantities of 4 to get that price!

This is as low as Crayola brand goes, so I would stock up if you want these for your Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.  We’ll likely see this price again during Back to School season, but you never know!  Remember, you can always price match at Walmart or Target as well!

Sew an Adorable Sunhat

Ok... I am not quite sure MY sewing skills are quite up to this yet, but her instructions seem very clear and if YOU sew, this seems a lovely addition to the shoeboxes. She has the pattern in a few sizes and I think a sunhat would be a BLESSING to a boy or girl.

Get the pattern and tutorial at http://museofthemorning.com/museblog/sewing-creations/free-pattern-summer-lovin-children#

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Delightful Article from Canada on OCC Distributions

Operation Christmas Child makes Impact

By Clarise Klassen

Even after three Operation Christmas Child distribution trips, Jake Klassen is still surprised at what item a child will find special in their shoebox full of gifts.

In a tiny village near Artigas in northern Uruguay, the MacGregor-area resident presented a shoebox from Hazel M. Kellington School in Neepawa to a six-year-old girl named Abrielle. When Abrielle opened the shoebox, she was instantly drawn to a Winnipeg Jets water bottle.

“You should have seen it. She would not let it go,” Jake said with a big grin and a shake of his head.
Although she had never heard of the Jets, the South American girl may have never seen a water bottle before or never had one of her own, he pointed out. He chose Abrielle for the gift, because the box had quite a few items which she could share with her three sisters.

At that same distribution, Klassen remembers a girl dressed mainly in pink received a pink-themed shoebox while the same happened for a girl dressed in purple. Since the shoeboxes are sealed from the time they leave the two Canadian Operation Christmas Child processing centres until they are opened by a child in a second or third world country, the distribution volunteers have no idea what is inside.

“We just believe that the right child receives the right gift,” said Klassen, an OCC volunteer since 2003. “We pray for that and we see it happen on these distributions.”

He presented a shoebox from his home church, Bagot Community Chapel, to a six-year-old named Mary in the city of Melo. Mary had one older and two younger sisters: Ina, Yvonne and Savannah.
“The box was very full — a Rubbermaid — and I hoped to give the box to a girl with lots of sisters to share with. Her favourite thing was the My Little Pony.”

Most children have no idea they are going to receive a present when they are invited to a community party hosted by a church in their neighbourhood, Klassen explained. The parties include a variety of entertainment including clowns and singing. The gifts are a surprise.

“Their whole concept of self-worth (is improved). When they receive a box they feel important. It’s a big day for them,” Klassen explained.

Third Shoebox Journey

His shoebox distribution trip to Uruguay from March 9-19 was his third with OCC. He first travelled to Oaxaca, Mexico in the spring of 2005, followed by a trip to Costa Rica in 2010, accompanied by his wife Helen. Klassen feels blessed to have been able to witness distributions in three different countries, due in part to his continued commitment to OCC, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, which is a Christian international relief organization headed by Franklin Graham.

There were two key things that made this trip to Uruguay unique, he said. For one, the sun was in the wrong place. Being south of the equator for the first time in his life, Klassen was surprised to have the sun in his eyes when his team travelled north from the capital of Montevideo, on Uruguay’s southern border, to Tacuaremb√≥, in north central Uruguay. The country is located between Argentina and Brazil.

When they arrived in Tacaurembó, Jake and the rest of his team were able to witness churches picking up their cartons of shoeboxes at the national distribution centre to hand out in their neighbourhoods. Some came in pickups or transport trucks, while one arrived with a horse and cart to pick up four cartons of shoebox gifts from Canada. The Uruguayan OCC National Leadership Team had planned a national distribution day on March 17, where 200 churches handed out their boxes on the same day. The NLT estimates there are currently 800,000 children in Uruguay in the 2-14 age range. They believe they have distributed 200,000 boxes since the program came to Uruguay.
OCC in Manitoba

What initially attracted Klassen to OCC?

He and his wife saw a need they could fill: to transport shoeboxes collected in western and south central Manitoba to the OCC processing centre in Calgary. When they helped deliver about 300 shoeboxes from the Portage area to Brandon in 2002, they found Brandon and later Morden were having problems finding a reliable and expeditious way to get those donations to Calgary. Klassen, a trucker since 1986, volunteered his semi-trailer and has been picking up boxes from the Morden and Brandon regional collection centres ever since. He also found other truckers willing to help transport shoeboxes from the other parts of Manitoba, including Portage.

Klassen is also an active member of the Portage-area OCC team, promoting the charity in rural areas around the city, and willing to share the stories of his distribution trips with anyone willing to hear them.

Since 2002, he has seen the number of shoeboxes from  the Portage area grow from 300 to over 2,000.

“It’s obviously very exciting to see the increase in the numbers and more people getting involved locally. That’s wonderful because I have seen firsthand what a difference a shoebox makes in the life of a child,” Klassen said with a smile.

He has also been able to see how the shoeboxes open the doors for Samaritan’s Purse to help communities in other ways. “Beyond the Box” projects have included the construction of schools, providing safe water, disaster response, wheelchair distributions, agricultural and livestock programs and small business programs.

He hopes more Central Plains residents will fill shoeboxes for children in desperate circumstances this fall. National Collection Week is Nov. 19-25. (NOTE THIS IS IN CANADA.. in the US it is NOV 12-19) Klassen advises people to start looking for items to put into boxes now, such as summer T-shirts, school supplies, and so on.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Assorted Deals and Savings

FREE toothpaste
Aquafresh Extreme Clean, 0.8 oz $0.97, regular price
Use $1.00/1 – Aquafresh Extreme Clean product, any – (aquafresh.com)

25 cent and 50 cent Rose Art and Crayola crayons
17 cent spiral notebooks

Request FREE sample of Arm and Hammer Sensitive toothpaste at http://freeahsensitive.com/ if you have not done so already.

Staples.. this week's deals end tomorrow and next week's ad has less for the shoeboxes.. but they have easy rebates for photo paper, paper, and pens that brings the cost way down.. and a printable coupon could make these moneymakers if you want to bother with easy rebates.  The 1cent offers are legal pads and file folders so not the best for the shoeboxes.

The current deals end tomorrow but include 50 cent foam visors, 1.66 cute photo boxes for use as the shoebox without wrapping, and the usual 40% off regular priced item coupon. And when I was there earlier this week there were a LOT of 80% clearance items!

Christmas in July

One of the local churches here is doing a Christmas in July packing party this weekend and I thought.... what a lovely idea!

Whether a packing party or crafting party or wrapping party or school item collection there are so many ways to celebrate Christmas in July in a meaningful way through Operation Christmas Child!

Another OCC blogger in Illinois is holding a garage sale to fund shipping... another great way to have a little of OCC joy in July.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Clothespin Doll Tutorial

It seems so many of the craft projects are sewing or crocheting.... and sometimes I just need to post ones that are fun to make, fun to give, and take NO sewing at all! These little clothespin dolls could be done in SO many ways to suit children from all over the world. And how sweet would a collection of these be in a shoebox!?

Full and clear instructions for these cuties can be found at http://restlessrisa.blogspot.com/2012/06/clothespin-doll.html

If you look at pinterest and online there are SO many variations of clothespin dolls... from Star Wars to expensive etsy versions.... so be creative and have fun. I know the child who receives them will share in the joy.

Easy backpack out of a tshirt

From FamilyFun Magazine
From Family Fun Magazine's Site http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/backpack-shirt-922871/
Total Time Needed:
1-2 Hours
Use a plain shirt as above or a cute one... wouldn't this be adorable with a floral or car or cartoon shirt?
  • T-shirt
  • Sharp scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Large safety pin
  • Clothesline cord, about 6 times the width of the shirt
  • 7/16-inch eyelet (or grommet) kit (see tip below)
  1. Backpack Shirt - Step 1 Turn the T-shirt inside out, then cut across the shirt from armpit to armpit. You'll need only the bottom section.
  2. Backpack Shirt - Step 2 Use the needle and thread to sew a simple stitch across the shirt, about a half inch in from the cut edge, to seal what will be the bottom of the bag.
  3. Backpack Shirt - Step 3 Turn the shirt right side out. Snip the shirt's hem almost all of the way through (do not cut any stitching) at the midpoint between the two side seams. Attach a large safety pin to one end of the clothesline cord. Feed the cord, safety pin first, through the casing of the hem.
  4. Backpack Shirt - Step 4 Follow the eyelet or grommet kit instructions to add eyelets to the bottom corners of the bag.
  5. Backpack Shirt - Step 5 Thread the ends of the cord through the eyelet holes and double-knot them to secure.
An eyelet or grommet kit can be purchased at craft stores or online for around $15. In a pinch, you can cut the holes with scissors and seal the cut edges with fabric glue, or make a button hole, but the result won't be as neat or as sturdy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Staples and Michaels trip

Well, on clipwithpurpose they showed how to get a TON of stuff essentially FREE at Staples using Easy Rebates and a coupon.... but I chose to simplify my life and not go that route.... what I bought...

5 small white boards at $1 each. I like white boards because they are like endless paper for school practice and the small size fit beautifully in the shoeboxes. At $1 I consider that a good deal. I spent 50cents on a set of dry erase markers so I can include a second one with each board to extend the life of the board. For 1 cent each I bought 2 packs of crayons and 2 packs of pens. The penny deals and dry erase marker deals require you to spend $5 to get those deals.... I did that with the white boards.

I also turned in 10 ink cartridges so that next time I go I will have $20 on my Staples Rewards card to make MORE school purchases for FREE.

YAY. Now.. if you want FREE go to http://www.clipwithpurpose.com/staples-5-off-30-purchase-coupon-awesome-deal-idea/ and learn how. Her deal is AMAZING! Since I loved the white boards I decided to go this route. :)

PS I also stopped by Michaels and picked up a few items including 20 cent crayons and 20 cent finger puppets at their 80% off clearance racks!!!

Then I stopped by Walmart to buy some crayons and notebooks at 25 cents and 17 cents each.

I love this time of year!

Easy Finger Puppets

Yet another wonderful idea from Clipwithpurpose... simple felt finger puppets! http://www.clipwithpurpose.com/kids-helping-kids-super-easy-finger-puppets/

Fun, cute, easy, and inexpensive! A great way to craft for kids and a craft that kids can do for other kids! Thanks clipwithpurpose!

Miracles Abound

When you meet people who have been on distributions of the shoeboxes you will inevitably hear about how God is working in the big and little ways.. and some that seem nothing less than miracles. This story is an older one, but worth reading.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Music Teacher's Stuffed Animal Shoe Box Gift Links American And Armenian Families

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

ROANOKE, VA  (ANS) -- Katie Hall doesn't know why she walked into a certain apartment complex on a hot August afternoon in Armenia, writes Jenny Kincaid in Virginia's "Roanake Times" newspaper.  (Pictured:
An Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift recipient).

"No other members of her mission team from First Baptist Church in Roanoke had visited there, and Hall went there on her own, along with several Armenian translators. Already that day at least three doors had been slammed in their faces when they tried to share the story of Jesus Christ," said Kincaid.

For about 10 days, Hall, 26, of Vinton visited homes in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, spreading the Gospel with seven other members of her mission team from First Baptist, Kincaid said.

"But Hall's message had already gotten to one family months before she met them," she wrote.

"After Hall talked with Nyges, a 10-year-old girl, and her mother and grandmother about the story of Christ, Nyges brought out a shoe box wrapped in paper decorated with snowmen. She opened a book from the box that detailed the life of Christ in Armenian.

"But when Nyges pulled out a stuffed animal monkey, Hall began to cry. The monkey was the same one that she and her mother had placed in a wrapped shoe box in December and sent through Operation Christmas Child (OCC), a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham." Kincaid said.

Operation Christmas Child has sent shoe boxes filled with toys to needy children throughout the world each Christmas since 1993.

Kincaid said that for the past three years, Hall and her family have donated boxes through Lynnhaven Baptist Church in Vinton.

"When she pulled out that monkey, the tears would not stop," Hall said. "I knew that was my box."

Kathy Blecker, who works in Operation Christmas Child's mid-Atlantic field office in Maryland, said that last year Operation Christmas Child delivered shoe boxes packed by people in 10 countries, including the United States. An estimated 6 million children in 95 countries received boxes. About 10,000 boxes were sent last year from people in the Roanoke and Salem areas, Blecker said.

Children in Armenia have received boxes for seven years, Blecker said. Last year, about 111,000 were distributed in that country.

Paige Greene, community relations manager with Operation Christmas Child, which is headquartered in Boone, N.C., said the office hears miracle stories every year about how children's lives have been changed with the shoe boxes.

But Katie's story "is what I would call a top-of-the-line OCC miracle," Greene said.

"I'm amazed but not surprised. God does this," she said.

Hall said the Armenian family was excited when she told them that she had packed the box.

"They had heard that we were there, and they said they had prayed that we would come visit their home," Hall said.

"You can read the faces of the Armenian people very well. When my translator translated to them, you could see the joy on the mother's face. The girl just hugged me immediately."

Hall said she believes God placed her in that apartment for a reason.

Throughout much of the trip, she said she felt as if she didn't have the skills to share the Gospel. She met the family on the last day of the team's service in Yerevan, which along with the rest of Armenia continues to suffer economic hardship from the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Hall, a music teacher at Glen Cove Elementary School, said she's ready to return to Armenia someday as a missionary.

"My perspective has changed on what I think is important," she said. "I have a deeper love for the people of Armenia.

"God had a plan in all of it," she said.

Samaritan's Purse helping after the wildfires

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

KMart Toy Clearance

This deal was found at mummydeals.org :
I LOVE the annual Kmart toy sale! Now through July 14, 2012 Kmart is offering an additional 50% off all clearance toys. The 50% off discount is automatically applied during checkout.
They’ve also got hot online deals: Toys & Games on sale at Kmart.com plus get EXTRA $5 off $50 with KTOYS5 or an EXTRA $10 off $100 with KTOYS10

I have not been to KMart to see what might be there.... but the possibilities are DEFINITELY there for great shoebox finds. 

Beginning of Walmart Back to School Sales

1 Subject Notebook, $0.17 Bic Pens (10 Count), $0.97 Calculator, $1 Crayola Markers, $0.97

Sales also vary region to region... but look for crayons in the 25 cent range. RoseArt markers seem to be at 50 cents as well.

Don't forget that Walmart matches prices of competitors as well. :)

Cup of Joy.... Slinky Fun

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ribbon Twirlers

I love this idea for the shoeboxes! So precious! To make it more shoebox appropriate, simply make the wands shorter. Sooooo cute.

Find the full instructions at http://prudentbaby.com/2012/03/baby-kid/diy-ribbon-wands/

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Philippine's The Greatest Journey, Sharing the Faith

Sharing the Faith

Children in the Philippines are learning about Jesus Christ through Operation Christmas Child and the The Greatest Journey discipleship program
Deb Talastas is a preacher’s daughter. Her passion is similar to her father’s—she loves teaching children about Jesus.

Not only does she lead the drama ministry at Jesus Christ Antioch Church in the Philippines, but she also teaches a discipleship program called The Greatest Journey to boys and girls who receive shoe box gifts through Operation Christmas Child.

However, Talastas has not always lived this sort of life. Until seven years ago, she wasn’t even interested in becoming a Christian.

“My parents taught me about Jesus, but I did not accept Him easily," she said. "Because, in my mind, I was still young and I wanted to enjoy my life."

When she was 11, Talastas received a shoe box gift. That tangible expression of Christ's love planted the seed of faith in her young heart.

“Jesus loves me,” she recalls thinking when she received the shoe box gift. “The one who gives me the gift loves me very much, and I feel so very special from that. The gift led me to think that I must accept Jesus Christ, that I must follow Jesus Christ.”

Two years later, Talastas completely surrendered her life to the Lord. She realized that God's gift was not one she could keep to herself. She had to tell others how they too could have a personal relationship with Christ.

The best way Talastas knew to share her faith was to use her talents. She became a youth leader and the director of the drama ministry, where young people perform skits and plays to make the message of the Bible easily understandable and interesting for children.

“I want to share the Gospel by showing it in drama ministry because this is the talent that I have,” Talastas said. “I want to share what God did for me, and I know God has given me a talent in drama to share His Word.”

After a recent shoe box distribution at Antioch Church, the boys and girls were offered The Greatest Journey Bible study booklets. Talastas set up a table where she taught a small group of older children the first lesson, which presents the true story of our loving Creator. As the children continue through all 12 lessons, they learn how to accept Christ as their Savior, how to follow Him each day, and how to share their faith with others.

The Greatest Journey is important to teach the children because they are the ones who will share the Gospel with their family, their relatives, their classmates, their friends," Talastas said. "These children will be a good testimony to others that they have Jesus in their heart.”

Antioch Church is proof that the Gospel is being spread effectively through shoe box gifts. The pastor said that many of the children who receive gifts continue coming to church to learn about Jesus through The Greatest Journey—and they bring their friends and parents too. The church had only 100 children in their ministry before they started giving out shoe box gifts. They had about 500 children at their latest distribution.

From the Philippines to the far corners of the world, millions of children are becoming faithful followers of Jesus Christ through Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey discipleship program.

Get all the info on Back to School Sales!

One of the BEST sites for Operation Christmas Child deals is also the best place for finding the best deals for school supplies... especially for the shoeboxes! I LOVE CLIPWITHPURPOSE... and if you haven't checked it out now is the time. I will have this photo and link in my sidebar for the next couple months so that you can find the best deals easily.

Of course, I will continue to post many of the sales here as well.... and school supplies are SO important. When our area leaders went to distribute shoeboxes last month in Uganda they found that the children TREASURED the pencils and school supplies because they couldn't go to school without them.. and the basics could cost weeks worth of wages. So enjoy the sales and know that these supplies are a BLESSING to the children who receive them!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

School Sales Begin!!! YAY STAPLES!

I found the following deals at clipwithpurpose.com:

Can you believe it??  School supply deals are starting already!  Staples has some great ones this week to get us started on school supply shopping for our shoe boxes.  I’ve only listed the deals that I think are great buys!
Staples 8.5×11″ Multipurpose Paper $6.99
Submit for $6.74 back via Staples Easy Rebate (limit 2)
Final Price: $0.25
HP Everyday 8.5×11″ Photo Paper $9.99
Receive $0.50 off with Instant Savings
and submit for $8.99 back via Staples Easy Rebate (limit 4)
Final Price: $0.50
*this is great if you like to print your own photos for your shoe boxes!*
Penny Deals *limit 2 each and requires aminimum $5 purchase*:
A great way to reach your $5 minimum purchase for these is to buy one of the paper deals listed above!
Bic Round Stic Black Ballpoint Pens 8 pack
RoseArt Crayons 24 pack
25 Cents:
Really Useful 0.14L Box in Assorted Colors  *love these!*
Paper Mate Sharpwriter 0.7mm Mechanical Pencils 5 pack
50 Cents:
Staples Pink Block Erasers 3pk
Staples 3.25×4.25″ Side-Coil Memo Book
Slider Pencil Case in Assorted Colors

Also... Target Dollar Spot has some stuff at 50% off.... if you are near a target check it out. :)

Paper Dolls

There are SO many places to print Paper Dolls from online... they make great additions for girls.. and clip with purpose found a bunch of ones great for the shoeboxes. If that is something you would like to include, check it out. :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ecuador Distribution Video

Earlier this year a group of OCC bloggers went on a distribution to Ecuador.... and I followed it with such joy, just as I did the Uganda distribution of this last month. While I was perusing youtube I found this video from the Ecuador distribution and it is beautiful! I just HAD to share. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Greatest Journey

The link to the article is http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/the_greatest_journey/ If the links below do not work, go there. :) I LOVE the Greatest Journey!!!

The Greatest Journey

The Greatest Journey is the exciting follow-up discipleship program used by Operation Christmas Child to help children become faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

Operation Christmas Child, the unique international project of Samaritan’s Purse, has delivered more than 85 million gift-filled shoe boxes to needy boys and girls in 138 countries worldwide since 1993. These simple gifts demonstrate God’s love to children in a tangible way and provide volunteer national leadership teams, local churches, and ministry partners with the opportunity to share the Good News of Christ.

You can view the first booklet here. Click the right edge of the image to see inside.

To view booklet two

To view booklet three

Mayamiko, an orphan girl in Malawi who lived with her grandmother, is just one of many children whose lives have been changed for eternity. She will never forget the day she received a shoe box full of presents—her very first Christmas gift. But the blessings did not stop with the contents inside the box. Church workers also offered the teenager a Gospel booklet and invited her to participate in the follow-up discipleship program. She was excited to learn more about Jesus through the Bible lessons and in time prayed to receive Him as Lord and Savior. As Mayamiko grew in her faith, she shared the Good News with her grandmother and led her to Christ. Together they began attending services at the local church.

“Since my grandmother and I received Jesus, we continue praying with confidence, knowing that our Father in heaven hears us,” said Mayamiko. “God is good indeed all the time.”

The Greatest Journey begins when children are freely offered Gospel storybooks during Operation Christmas Child gift distributions. The Greatest Gift of All booklets—printed in over 70 languages—contain colorful illustrations that explain the Good News of Jesus Christ in a simple, engaging style.

The most far-reaching impact comes later, when boys and girls are invited to participate in the voluntary Bible study course produced by Samaritan’s Purse. The 12-lesson set guides children through a study of who Jesus Christ is, what it means to follow Him, and how to share this exciting message with others. After children complete the program, they are presented with a personalized certificate.

To help these boys and girls continue to grow in their faith, we want to provide them with their very own copies of the Greatest Gift of All New Testament. This special edition also includes selected Old Testament stories, a dictionary, and a section that encourages the children to memorize Scripture.

All of the materials used for The Greatest Journey—the Gospel booklets, Bible study course, and New Testaments—are provided at the request of local churches and ministry partners.

Millions of boys and girls have indicated that they have committed their lives to Jesus Christ after receiving shoe box gifts and participating in our follow-up program. By sharing their faith one-on-one, these children in turn lead friends and relatives to Jesus Christ. Miracles multiply as more and more families come to Christ and churches are planted in communities where none previously existed.

“I give thanks to God for the opportunity He gave me to study the Bible lessons,” said 14-year-old Gimena from Paraguay. “Through them, many children have met Jesus. I invited my friends to the classes, and many of them received Jesus as their Savior too.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Samaritan's Purse Livestock

This blog focuses on Operation Christmas Child a ministry of Samaritan's Purse and not on Samaritan's Purse itself... and that won't change, but sometimes I will post their blogs or prayer requests because I believe in the work they are doing.

I hope you enjoy this blog post... and if you feel lead I have added the link to the Samaritan's Purse gift catalog where you can give the gift of livestock or many other amazing gifts to people in need in the name of Christ.


May 23, 2012

Love and Unity Through Livestock
By Joni Byker.

I recently was able to take a day trip out to Bopolu, one of our four sub-offices here in Liberia, a four-hour drive outside of Monrovia.

When Samaritan’s Purse first arrived in Liberia to respond to the civil crisis, Bopolu was one of the areas that organizations flocked to. When you entered the town, you were greeted to over 30 signboards signifying the amount of organizations represented in the city and the district.

One of the most recognizable problems in Bopolu right after the war was the lack of livestock. Not a chicken or goat could be seen while driving through or around Bopolu.

Now, things are a bit different.

The signboards are faded and aged, but still posted on the street corner. As for an actual presence in the community and district, Samaritan’s Purse is one of the few still working in the area.

Augustus Vannie has been the livestock program manager for Samaritan’s Purse Liberia since 2005. He was one of the first employees in Liberia, where currently the number of staff is over 320. Pa Vannie brought me to the community of Fahrwen Town, just a few minutes outside Bopolu.

Fahrwen Town is one of the oldest in the district, founded in the late 1800s. Samaritan’s Purse approached the community in 2007 to see if there was interest in a sheep and goat project. With members of the community returning to their homes after the war, the desire to be back on their feet financially was understandably high.

Our livestock team chose 20 farmers, 10 requesting sheep and 10 requesting goats.

“You want to know how to solve any community issue? Love and sharing,” Pa Vannie shared with the farmers. “Jesus Christ died for you—He did that because He loves you. So, when you encounter an issue in your community, love them and share with them. If your animal is bothering your neighbor, instead of arguing with them, offer them the animal instead. Share with them what you have been given.”

The community has taken this advice to heart.

“These sheep and goats have brought love and unity to this community. It has made us know God better and has helped us love one another,” Fahrwen Kamara said. “When we see someone in need, we give them an animal. When that animal has offspring, they return one. Sheep and goats brought Christianity here—we should love one another as Christ loved us.”

As a result, today there are over 150 sheep and goats in Fahrwen Town, compared to the 44 that were originally distributed in 2007.

The Samaritan’s Purse livestock program has not only brought love and unity to Fahrwen Town, but has provided a solid financial support while community members rebuild their town and their lives.

Fahrwen Kamara has not only given away four of his sheep, he has also sold four for $125 each, which provided the funds he needed to construct a three-bedroom home for his family.

Krubah David, a 23-year-old sheep farmer, is also constructing her very own three-bedroom home. Krubah was 18 when SP responded to the needs of her community.

“I heard they wanted to bring us sheep and goats, and I wanted to be a part of that!” she said.

Five years later, she has given three of her sheep away to community members in need, and has sold four. But her “bank” is far from empty—she still has nine sheep she is caring for. “These sheep have brought unity among us,” she said.

Edwin Bormah used his goats as an investment to jump-start two small businesses in Fahrwen Town. After paying back his required two females to SP, Edwin sold eight of his goats, for $110 each, to start the Bormah Business Center, which sells dried goods, batteries, and canned goods, and is the only business center in Fahrwen Town. He then constructed a video club, which shows movies each night for $5LD per person.

“I still have 11 goats,” he said. “In fact, just recently my wife was really sick. I was able to sell three animals to carry my wife to the hospital in Monrovia. Praise God, she received the help she needed. Then, with rainy season starting, I needed new zinc for my roof. I was able to easily purchase three bundles of zinc with the money from my goats.”

Zogba Mulbah currently has 16 goats, which have covered school fees for each of her six children, approximately $300 total each semester. With most of the population of Liberia living on less than $1 a day, a family of six children would never be able to cover the cost of these school fees. “I wouldn’t survive or be able to send my kids to school,” she said. “I used to farm, but I stopped to focus on my goats instead.”

As we were leaving the community, a man named Ballah came running up to catch my attention. The night before, a tropical storm came through Fahrwen Town and ripped the entire roof off of his house. Instead of frantically searching for funds to repair his roof before the next rains came, he sold a couple of his goats, easily covering the cost of zinc, timber and labor.

Pa Vannie and his livestock team are also taking the community to the next level—assisting them in getting set up at the local market to sell their animals, instead of having to transport them the four hours to Monrovia.

“Just think—people will be talking about the Bopolu market because of the animals available,” he said. Right now, the weekly markets consist of produce, dried fish and household supplies. “Work together as a cooperative. Set a price for your animals and don’t undercut your neighbor. When you work together at the market, you will be even stronger!”

As we drove away from Fahrwen Town, I was so encouraged by these testimonies. These 20 farmers have taken the gift that they had received from Samaritan’s Purse, invested and cared for them wisely, used them to reach out to the needy in their community, and now continue to reap the benefits and blessings that come from their stewardship.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Recycling Printer Ink Cartridges at Staples...

With back to school supply sales JUST AROUND THE CORNER now is the time to think about bringing your used ink cartridges into Staples! If you have a Staples reward card you can get $2 per ink cartridge onto your card, up to 10 per month. Think of the amount of school supplies you can buy with that when they go on sale!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Cup of Joy.. Star Sunglasses

Alligator Sewing Kit

  I love perusing other OCC blogs because I get the best ideas!

This is so cute, and practical. This particular idea came from Packing Hope and SHE found it at

What a darling way to give something practical! I might see if I can get our ladies group to make some... this does not require high level of skills to make and looks fun. :)

I try to include sewing kits into each 10-14 year old box, especially girls, but this one is appropriate even for the boys. Include a spool of thread and some fabric to the box and they are good to go. :) 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

ALMOST FREE STUFF: $1 Off Ivory in Paper plus other savings

Procter and Gamble coupon insert today includes a coupon for $1 off!! As 3 packs for these soaps OFTEN go for between $1 and $1.30 this means cheap to FREE FREE FREE soap for the shoeboxes! This is one to clip and save!

Also Rite Aid has a good deal starting today if you still need toothbrushes.
From krazycouponlady.com:
Reach Total Care or Total Care Plus Toothbrush, 1 ct, or Access Flosser Starter Pack $2.99 Buy 1, Receive $2.00 +Up Reward, Limit 2 Use $1.00/2 – Reach Toothbrushes – (bricks.coupons.com)
Pay $4.98, Receive two $2.00 +Up Reward Final Price: $0.49 each when you buy 2
 (Note there was a $1 off 1 printable coupon in the past... if you have THOSE it is FREE)

FINAL NOTE: you can print out coupons from colgate.com and aquafresh.com for MORE toothpaste and toothbrush coupons!!