Aren’t these amazing?  The Bethlehem Church challenged their youth to get involved in their Operation Christmas Child project by decorating shoeboxes 🙂
I found this story on Instagram by “shoeboxblessings” and she said I could share this fun project with all of you!She posted:

I am reminded this morning of how unique and precious we are to our Lord.

I love this wall of individually decorated shoe boxes that Bethlehem Church is challenging their youth to fill up to send to a special boy or girl  this year.  I love seeing God work through His people!  Never forgetting that Jesus loves me and He loves you too!!


It seems that the church not only asked their youth to decorate some of their shoeboxes, but also to engage their community as well to participate!

 The boxes in the picture were decorated by local schools, civic groups, individuals etc.

Each box represents a unique life story that wants to be a part of making a difference.

Yes, it truly shows the power of one!  What a mighty God we serve.

decorated shoeboxes2

These are beautiful and will certainly bless the child who receives it – and not only that – think of all the people each box is blessing RIGHT NOW!  It isn’t just decorating shoeboxes – it is so much more!  It blessed the church, it blessed the youth, it blessed the person who was able to unique decorate the box – it blessed “shoeboxblessings” to observe it, and now it blesses us – not to mention the Processing Center volunteers and finally the distribution team and the child who receives the gift and their family.  This bright spot of cheer is a unique way to gather people together to make a difference and to show love and hope.

Let’s not make volunteering and donations a solitary act!  Involving others might help us and the project – but really blesses everyone involved!


I’m a little obsessed with filling pencil cases!  Here are some pencil case ideas:

pencil case ideas

I have made them out of Cardboard (click here)

cardboard pencil cases 1

My friend Suzanne crocheted hers (click here)


And I’ve even used Tennis Ball Containers (click here)

recycling trash into useful items

During July and August you will find TONS of pencil cases on sale – lots of different plastic boxes and zippered bags!  Some people just use a ziploc baggie which is great and very convenient.

But here are a few more pencil case ideas that I found several at Amazon that I think are really really cute and colorful and reasonably priced.  (If you are reading this as part of my email subscription – you must click through to the blog to be able to see these items!)  I love practical things, but sometimes I just enjoy something fun and cheerful to brighten MY day – and I think these will brighten a child’s day as well.  These are pretty unique items!




School supplies are incredibly important to children around the world.  Overseas it can literally make the difference if that child continues to attend school or not.  And here in America there is a huge need for supplies as well.  Teachers often pay out of their own pocket to have additional items in the classroom.  That’s why I really love the months of July and August when pens and pencils, markers and erasers all go on sale.

There are so many places that desperately need these donations!

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There is a Crazy Sale at Crazy8 today!  SO MANY Items are Up to 80% off

Crazy Sale at Crazy8

But ends at midnight tonight, Sunday July 17th!  These are the Lowest prices ever 🙂  (they will still remain on sale – but probably go back to 70% off)

Tons of items – starting at $1.39!


AND scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen to “subscribe” enter your email for a 20% off and FREE SHIPPING coupon!
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There are good Michaels Sales this week! BUT TODAY July 17th from 3PM to closing you can use the coupon and take an ADDITIONAL 20% OFF entire purchase INCLUDING THE SALE ITEMS!

Michaels Sales
I love those ribbons and don’t buy them often because even with a 50% off coupon they are still $1.49 – but now with the coupon they would be 80 cents each – and the same with the Flip Flops.   There were no flip flops left at my local store – but might be some left at yours.

To print out the coupon – CLICK HERE

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I checked out the Big Lots School Supplies section and this is what I found:

Big Lots School Supplies
17¢ notebooks (Staples and Walmart also have the same price)

25¢ small tubes of toothpaste – they were loose and at my store had been thrown into a plastic shoebox bin.  These are great to pick up for donation to various shelters and also for OCC – check expiration date.

AND did you know that New “Rewards Members” get a $5 off $15 email coupon when they sign up: CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

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This Sunday is the Friends and Family Event – Dollar Tree 10% off Sale!

Dollar Tree 10% off Sale

Take 10% off your Entire Purchase of $10 or more THIS SUNDAY, JULY 17th!

Just print off your coupon and bring it to your local Dollar Store on Sunday, July 17th.

The last time they had this sale, my local store (that is generally dirty and disorganized) didn’t understand the coupon and then the manager said I couldn’t use a printed coupon even though I showed him that it came from their own official website.   It was not a pleasant experience.

I went to another local store that ended up being welcoming and fun and I didn’t even need the coupon.   Hopefully you will have not have any difficulty!

This is a perfect time to pick up items for your Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes!  Tools, ball pump, pencil sharpeners (12 in a pk), erasers, dolls, puzzles, etc.!  Sindia found bonus pks of pencils 24 for $1.

pencils at Dollar Tree



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There is a Harbor Freight 3 day sale this weekend with Coupons!  AND they include FREE with ANY Purchase items!

Harbor Freight 3 day sale
You can pick up something fun but inexpensive and then use the 20% off coupon AND also use the FREE ITEM coupon as well 🙂 to get 2 wonderful items!

The microfiber cloth and flashlight are great for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  I think the flashlight might even be fun to add to a backpack if you pack them with your church.  And I know my husband loves the digital multimeter!

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Here are the kids meals toys for July:

Kids Meals Toys July

It’s the beginning of a long summer – why not take your kids out for a fun meal.  Then it’s a great opportunity to have a conversation about children who might not have the same opportunities that we have.  It’s a great time to talk about donations and service.

These cute toys would be so perfect to include in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift!

And I’ve had many a happy meal myself!  🙂

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I used to have several Christian book stores in my area, and slowly each went out of business.  That’s why I was so happy to find Family Christian store online!  They have all kinds of fun imprinted items with scripture or positive statements.  As well as lots of Bible Study aids, books, decor and gifts.

AND then I found out that they are a non-profit and that they give 100% of their profits to Christian Charities!!!  WOW  So shopping there is really a win/win.

Family Christian: When you shop, you give: 100% of our profits are donated to Christian Charities

While I didn’t find lots of great deals for donations or for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, I did find a number of items that work perfectly as gifts for family and friends.

If you do have a Family Christian store nearby you can choose FREE SHIP TO STORE.  Otherwise there is Free Shipping at $50+.

Family Christian store

They have a bunch of patriotic and religious t-shirts on sale, many for $6.49


In fact all of their patriotic items like pictures, decor and gifts are all 50% off off.

childrens bible

And lots of children’s items on sale, including Veggie Tales, the Adventure Bible, and even just the Adventure Bible Gospel of Mark for just $2.

And with all the weddings this summer – I found a few very special wedding gifts!

I was very pleasantly surprised to find Family Christian store online!  And the fact that they give all their profits away to Christian charities is such an incredible bonus to every purchase I make 🙂

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There is a summer Dover Little Books Sale happening!  Titles are up to 75% off!

I’ve talked about Dover Publications before.  I LOVE them.  They have thick quality paper and great printing.  I’ve purchased them for years, especially when the kids were little and we went to all the museums and historical sites.  You know they are good quality when you find them almost exclusively sold there!  And they stand up well, I think I still have some historical costumes coloring books on my shelves 🙂

I didn’t check out all the titles, my heart always goes to the Little Activity Books that are so easy to stick into a little gift, or pack into a pocket for traveling.  (They also make perfect goody bag additions!)  I also use them for Operation Christmas Child because they fit into a shoebox perfectly!

dover Little Books sale

The normal price for these books are $1.50.  THIS LINK will take you to the Little Activity Books on sale.  Check through the books carefully.  Some have been reduced to $1.00, some to 75¢ and SOME TO 38¢ – and of course those would be the ones I would pick first! 🙂

AND THERE IS A VOLUME DISCOUNT!  I found that when I put 25 or more in my cart, the 38¢ books were now 34¢ – a 10% discount? (ok, I’ll admit it, math is not my strong point, but the price goes down and I’m happy!)

AND there is Free Shipping at $50+

After I checked out the Little Activity Books (and I wish I could have sorted them in price order) for the Dover Little Books sale, I looked around and saw that they had lovely large sized children’s books on sale as well.  I saw fun paper dolls (always my favorite), coloring books, puzzle books, and more.  As well as lots of adult books as well!

Read the descriptions carefully.  Some paper dolls are “stickers” and others require a scissors.  I found that out last year, but then included a scissors and the book together in a baggie in my Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift.

Some posts contains affiliate links which help to pay this site’s maintenance fees.  Check my Disclosure policy.


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