Did you know that each sending country for

Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes

(US, Canada, UK, Australia/New Zealand, Japan, etc.)

has a DIFFERENT set of what NOT to pack rules?

It has gotten extremely confusing for people recently reading blogs and websites and seeing all the different lists and then think it applies to them.  This is a blog/page from the US and we are posting info that reflects our rules.

Every day I get emails, comments, and see questions on all sorts of OCC websites from people who live in the US that say “I was told (or I saw that) we can’t pack……” and it was incorrect information.  I could tell they had read another country’s website by mistake.

It is VITAL (especially if you are a church project leader!) to check your own country’s website to get the most accurate information of what not to pack.

In the US – WE CAN and are allowed to PACK:

  • toothpaste (expiration date must be 6 months passed Collection Week date)
  • gum
  • candy (a whole host of different kinds! Skittles, gummies, jelly beans, lollipops, too many to list, lol, just no chocolate)
  • playing cards
  • homemade stuffed animals
  • glow sticks
  • chapstick
  • all kinds of clothing items
  • religious materials and jewelry
  • items that have American flags on them
  • (as well as a whole host of other items, lol)
  • You CAN remove any tags and take all items out of their packaging (you don’t have to however)

All of the above items are on different country’s lists – but not on ours.  This is why it can get confusing :) Each sending country has a different set of rules based on the countries that they deliver to and the customs regulations they must follow.  It appears that the US has the most freedom in what we are allowed to pack.

THIS is the United States – DO NOT PACK List:

  • Breakables – such as glass globes, glass figurines, dolls with porcelain faces
  • Seeds
  • Liquids – no bubbles, shampoo, liquid hand sanitizer, liquid soap, nail polish, etc.
  • Anything obviously used/dirty/broken (you don’t need to keep the tags to prove that items are new – you are allowed – but don’t have to –  remove tags and packaging)
  • War items – no army men, tanks, bomb dropping planes, etc. and — also includes camo clothing
  • Also along with “war items” – Any characters holding weapons – You can include Super Heros or other characters if you can remove their weapons!
  • Food
  • No chocolate (tootsie rolls are ALLOWED).
  • Vitamins, medications such as ointments, aspirin, etc.
  • Razors
  • Harry Potter and Pokemon

Each sending country has a different set of rules based on the countries that they deliver to and the customs regulations they must follow.

It appears that the US has the most freedom in what we are allowed to pack.

So don’t get confused when you see lists – you must check the country of origin!

CLICK HERE FOR  – UNITED STATES Operation Chrismtas Child

But if you are visiting this webpage but live outside the US, you can check these websites for a your list of rules :)

CLICK HERE FOR – CANADIAN Operation Christmas Child

CLICK HERE FOR – UNITED KINGDOM Operation Christmas Child



happyblogiversaryToday, Clip with Purpose is officially 4 years old!  I know many of you have been here from the beginning, but many of you are new, too!  (Our Facebook followers count recently passed 5,000—what a great present!).  I appreciate each and every one of you so much.  This wouldn’t be much of a blog if no one was following it or commenting on it or helping to share ideas and deals.  It’s been such a fun journey over the past 4 years.  I never imagined I would make close friendships out of this blog and never knew that so many people love OCC as much (or more) than me!  You blog readers make Clip with Purpose amazing, so thank you!!

So, to everyone new and old, I thought a brief history of who we all are here behind the scenes at Clip with Purpose and how we got here would be a fun way to celebrate our blog-iversary and help everyone get to know a little bit about the team that keeps this blog going.

October 24, 2010–Jessica felt called by God to start Clip with Purpose and registered the domain name.  She hoped sharing her own (and others) shopping and coupon deals would help lots of people be able pack more Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

October 30, 2010–The first post was made on the blog.  It was about weekly Walgreens deals.

March 6, 2012–Sindia, a great lover of all things OCC, joined the blog to post occasional deals.  She’s still around and posts on Facebook occasionally (she signs her posts /sp)

May 28, 2012–Mary, our New York based OCC superhero, joined the blog as a part-time poster of crafts and DIY projects.  Mary is the one who currently posts most regularly on the blog.

September 2, 2012–With a recent move, a new business, and kids age 2 and 4, Jessica was feeling overwhelmed.  She asked for some help with daily blogging.

September 28, 2012–Mary, who you all know and love, agreed to take over the majority of the blogging responsibilities here at Clip with Purpose.  Jessica stayed on as behind the scenes management and an occasional poster, rather than full time!

So, now you know who we all are.  :)  Make sure you are following Clip with Purpose on Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and Pinterest to stay on top of all the deals and ideas.  You can also sign up for daily emails of the blog posts.  Here’s to another 4 years of packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes together!


PS.  If you ever want to know who is posting on the blog, you can always check the by-line under the title of the post!



processing centerPeople across the country are busy packing shoebox gifts that will share the message of Christ’s love to millions of children worldwide. But before Samaritan’s Purse can deliver them overseas, the boxes first must be carefully inspected and prepared by faithful volunteers at our Processing Centers around the country.

Many of you may have already signed up to volunteer at a processing center, but if you have not, there are still a few spots available. You can find yours here!

Processing centers are located in the following cities:  Atlanta, Baltimore, Boone, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, Hawaii, Southern California.

I promise you it’s an opportunity that you won’t soon forget.  You can check out my post to see whats it like based on my experience a few years ago.

If you don’t have a processing center near you, don’t fret.  Many local area teams need extra volunteers to help main the collection centers at churches.  You can get in touch with your area team by calling the number here.


staples paperMORE Paper Deals at Staples!
Have you finished making all your pads or coloring book packets? If not Staples has paper for you!
Staples Brand Ream – $7.99
get $3 Easy Rebate (limit 4)
USE $3.98 Staples coupon (limit 1)
1¢ after coupon & Easy Rebate
Staples Brand Paper 10pk carton – $53.99
get $34 Easy Rebate (limit 4)
USE $10 Staples coupon (limit 1)
$9.99 or $1 per ream after coupon & Easy rebate


toothpaste at walgreensThis week at WALGREENS  Colgate toothpaste is $3.50 with your store card then receive $3 Register Rewards (good on next purchase)

Use this printable 75 cents off coupon to score free toothpaste PLUS an extra 50 cents :)


There is also a 50¢ coupon savings in most Sunday papers.



This is the place!

The place to get photos, web banners, fact sheets, PSA’s, videos, etc. for you, your community group and your church!

Check it out HERE

Photo by Kevin G. Gilbert/Chief Photographer

Photo by Kevin G. Gilbert/Chief Photographer

For 10 years, members of The Good Shepherd Ministries in Hagerstown, MD, have prepared Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse. The first year, they decorated and filled 50 shoeboxes with school and hygiene supplies, along with an assortment of small gifts, that were sent to children in need in Appalachia and overseas at Christmas.

Jeanette of Waynesboro, Pa. has coordinated the effort from the beginning through the church’s Hearts of Love ministry, but “wrangled” Dottie of Hagerstown into serving as co-leader with her after the first year.

They work with a core group of 12 to 20 church volunteers throughout the year unpacking and preparing supplies in preparation for the packing party, a weeklong effort the week of Nov. 10 to fill the shoeboxes, pack them into cartons, then tally and load them onto an awaiting tractor-trailer in the church parking lot.
Last year their outreach had grown to 2,238 boxes.

“The Lord was impressing on us that we can do 5,000. There’s no way, but that is our goal,” Ebersole said. “Five thousand. That’s out of Dottie and I’s comprehension. So we’ve been busy bees.”
With lots of prayers and through ramping up their volunteer work days to at least weekly, instead of twice a month, the team is committed to what seems like an improbable goal.

To read the rest of the story and just how they achieve their goal, check out The Herald Mail and CLICK HERE


pinworthyDid you know, it is almost this blog’s 4th birthday?  So, just out of curiosity, I was looking into what posts this blog have been the most popular. I wanted to share the top 5 with you, just to make sure no on has missed them!  Click on the links to check them out!

1.  Just the home page of our blog (Pinned over 6,000 times!)

2No Sew Fleece Hat  (Pinned over 5,00o times!)

3.  10 Minute Fleece Drawstring Bag (Pinned over 3,00 times!)

4.  Ideas for a Boys 10-14 Year Old Shoebox (Pinned nearly 3,000 times!)

5.  The Operation Christmas Child Amazon Store (over 1,000 times!)

If you’re not already following Clip with Purpose on Pinterest, you definitely should do so.  Lots of great ideas to share!

I think there’s a lot of pin-worthy stuff on our site.  What do you think of the list?  Any of these posts you hadn’t seen yet?  Or, do you have any favorite past posts that you think everyone should check out that didn’t make the top 5?





Such a fun video about a little teddy bear who yearns to be in a shoebox gift!

The video was produced by OCC in Germany but still would be very cute to show to your children, or Sunday School Program.



Cindy Jean's Sweater Vests

Aren’t these just wonderful!  I absolutely love them!

Cindy Jean shared these great pictures of the sweater vests she’s been knitting and I knew I needed the pattern!

She agreed to share it with us:  :)

Sweater Vest Knitting Pattern

To make these sweater vests, you knit two rectangles for the front and back, knit 2 rectangles for the straps, then sew or crochet them together.

Use a size 10 1/2 knitting needle and leftover worsted weight yarn.

For the smallest vest:  cast on 35 stitches and knit every row for 91 rows.   To make the straps, cast on 10-12 stitches and knit in garter stitch for 30 rows.

For the medium size vest:  cast on 39 sts and knit for 112 rows.  To make the straps, cast on 12 sts, and knit for 34 rows.

For the large vest:  cast on 50 sts and knit for 130 rows.  To make the straps, cast on 15 sts and knit for 34 rows.

Make the front and back rectangles exactly the same.

Here is one way to ensure that the back and the front rectangle are exactly the same size:

She knits them both together on the same needle – so it would be a combination of 35 stitches and a space and 35 stitches.  To keep the yarn separate – she uses a string of yarn from the center of the skein for one set of 35 stitches, and a string of yard from the outside of the skein for the other 35 stitches (keeping the rectangles separately knitted of course)

(As a novice knitter, I might try to just knit 2 separate rectangles myself though – I get confused too easily, lol.)

When sewing or crocheting the vests together, leave the top 1/3 of the vest open for the arm holes.

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