May was designated “Hygiene Item” month by Operation Christmas Child to help people plan and shop all year for shoebox items.  By getting a few items every month, the cost and effort can be spread out and be less of a burden.  Toothbrushes are a great item to include!  AND they are also necessary items to include in hygiene kits for the homeless, and other types of shelters.  Yes, there are occasional toothbrush coupons that can be used with sales at Walgreens, CVS, etc.  But if you need large quantities, you might want to purchase them online in BULK.   AND if you get them at a good price, you can donate some to a number of different groups!

toothbrush

There are several websites with many different prices and qualities.  Reading comments on many different groups, sites, and bulletin boards, I have found that everyone has a different opinion, a different need, and a different price point.  There is no right or wrong, you must decide what would work best for your needs.

Whatever toothbrushes you do choose, including a toothbrush holder is an extra special gift.  These are very inexpensive at Amazon.

MLC22196 – Toothbrush Holders

Oksana Nelson received her shoebox gift while living in an orphanage in Russia.   She told us there was only 1 toothbrush to share between the 20 girls on her floor!  Getting her very own toothbrush was a very special gift.

toothbrushes

I would advise keeping this list in your “favorites” and check back once in awhile.  Each website runs specials, closeouts and shipping deals throughout the year.  Some might have better “prices” but make sure to include “shipping” in the cost.

Venture Six

Plak Smacker

Amazon

Overstock

Dollar Days

Smile Makers

Dollar Tree – (you can have them deliver to your local store)

Dr. Fresh (very slow website)

Practicon

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Do you love Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars?  They are available at a Dollar General BOGO sale today through 5/28!  Some stores are selling them for $1.25 each, and some for just $1.00 each.  Therefore the price could be between 50-62¢ each with this sale.

dollar general BOGO
Plus if you wait to shop on 5/28 you can use their $5 off $25 coupon available on their website !

dollar general coupon

If you do pick up some cars – and pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, you might want to check out this post about decorating the inside of the lid of the shoebox just for cars 🙂

 

Memorial Day Weekend should bring lots of sales and coupons!  Both Kohls‬ and Penneys‬ Coupons are available!  Both stores are offering $10 off $25 Coupons‬.  They are good NOW through May 30!

Kohls and Penneys Coupons

For the Kohls coupon just Click HERE

and for the JC Penneys Coupon just Click HERE

I found so many great clearanced items last weekend – many in JC Penneys boys department for under $2.

 

Have you ever thought of hosting a Family Game Night Fundraiser?  What a great idea! It’s a wonderful way to make new friends, have fun with your church or group, and make money for a cause.  Plus this particular one in Texas is asking for either cash or items for their Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  It gives people options, and encourages participation in the host project.

Family Game Night Fundraiser
“Please join us for a fun filled Family Game Night. There will be games and prizes for all ages, along with concessions and raffles. All proceeds go to Operation Christmas Child. This year our goal at Booker Christian Church is to send at least 200 boxes, not only from our church but from the community of Booker.”

If you live near Booker, Texas, definitely check them out! Sounds like fun!

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Great FREE from Kmart deal!  Kids under 12 can get a FREE beach ball tomorrow, Saturday, May 28!

Free from Kmart

Perfect for a shoebox, it will fit so easily!  I love it when kids can get involved and gather items themselves for a shoebox, don’t you?

 

ChristianBook.Com has some amazing deals right now!  Currently there is a “CyberWeek” sale, as well as Last Chance Deals.  AND get free shipping if you place an order of $35 or more through June 1, 2016:  just enter promotion code 457408, and choose Standard Shipping at checkout.

christianbook

I found many items at the ChristianBook website that would be perfect for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  But I found so many that would work great as extra VBS prizes and additions to Sunday School materials.  (Even if they are different and older themes!)   I think several could be used in Scouts and Youth Group too.  What about Church picnic event prizes?  That would be fun!  Plus I think I’ll be picking up some old school cassette tapes for 25 cents for my husband as well!  Remember Father’s Day is coming up in a few weeks!

HOWEVER, clicking around the site feels like going to an unorganized garage sale!   I know there are bargains to be had, but it is more like a treasure hunt.  The deals are not laid out in any efficient manner.  I would click on “Cyber Sales” but there are over 500,000 items listed!  That is page after page – and clicking a category doesn’t really contain all the items.  Then I tried “Last Chance Bargains”.  Even then I tried  “Best Selling Closeouts” and found things that weren’t under the other categories!

ALSO there is hardly if any description of any of their listed items – and the images can only be enlarged slightly.  I guess I am spoiled by Amazon and other retailers with such full descriptions!  What I do suggest if you have any questions, just give them a call at 1-800-C H R I S T I A N

With all that being said —- if you have the time and energy – keep browsing.  It really is worth the effort, just like any great garage sale.  There are wonderful bargains to be found!  I’ve listed a few ones I found interesting and I hope can be helpful to you.

If you want to explore yourself, you can start at this link HERE under the CYBERSALE that begins at the FREE level with various Ebooks.  There were 151 ones available!  After that other types of products begin.   I recognize many things I used from VBS programs from maybe 10 years ago but they are still useful!  If that overwhelms you with their 500,000 items then just check out the items I found below!!! 🙂

There are TONS of Stickers available starting at just 20¢ for a package of 150.  Start HERE

ChristianBook 1

Here is a Ball Cap for just 49¢

 

ChristianBook 3

There are several different T-Shirts in various colors and sizes for just 99¢ (scroll down, for some reason there are a couple of stickers listed under this heading!)

ChristianBook 4

Here is a package of 10 Beach balls for just 99¢ – However I have no idea of the size 🙁  because the site has no description.  Another reason to call the company.  BUT HERE you can get the same design but in a 4 FOOT size!  Wouldn’t that be fun in the backyard or during Church picnics!!!!

ChristianBook 5

I found this waterbottle for just 50¢

ChristianBook 6

A package of 10 Bandanas for only $1.99 (however the size isn’t listed!)

ChristianBook 7

And that is just a small portion of the fun items to be had!  Happy hunting at the ChristianBook website! 🙂

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These are such fun finger puppets!  They are from Amazon, very inexpensive and FREE Shipping!  We’ve ordered tons of these for our Operation Christmas Child packing parties.  They are not a significant WOW item, but a fun little thing to put into the corners and empty spaces of a shoebox!  The children would be able to immediately play with them at the distribution and get some laughs.  They do take a long time to ship – but with free shipping from Asia you can understand.  That’s why shopping all year can be an advantage – you can order items a little more inexpensively if you have the time to wait for them to arrive 🙂

Finger Puppets

A number of people on facebook who ordered these finger puppets said they love them as well, and some use their grandchildren as “toy testers”!  They are officially “grandchildren approved”!

This post may contain affliate links.  Check my Disclosure policy.

 

Debbie made these colorful centerpieces for her Operation Christmas Child event.  Aren’t they fun?  No pattern, just creativity!

shoebox decoration for Operation Christmas Child Event

 

Harbor Freight Coupons!  20% and FREE with Purchase Coupons!  These are wonderful to pick up for Boy 10-14 Shoeboxes!

Harbor Freight coupon

 

I love to pack Operation Christmas shoeboxes and I know that many of you do too!  I have a new option for you sponsored by The Pencil Granny and Friends!

pencil granny 1

With all the great deals and freebies we can find throughout the year, sometimes I have extras after packing all my boxes, do you?  In the past, I have been sharing them with local friends and churches who hold packing parties.   But last year I had even more extras and I brought them to the Collection Center to send down to the Processing Centers.  After Collection Week, every shoebox is inspected at the 8 Processing Centers around the country.  If items from the “Do Not Pack” list are found and need to be removed – it can leave a large empty spot 🙁  Having quality donations to add is so important!

uganda pencils

The Pencil Granny and Friends was founded when a group of women heard about this need AND they learned about the great need for school supplies as well.

They wrote: “I Iove reading the stories OCC shares on their Facebook page ….  I have noticed that many of the children told how they prayed for school supplies; they could not attend school without them.  One story told of a teacher (in Chile) who cut a pencil in 8 pieces so 8 children would have one.  That did it for me.” 

Their hearts were so moved that they prayed for direction.  In addition to packing shoeboxes, why not make Pencil Packs to send to the Processing Centers?  Inspired, they started a Facebook Page in November 2015, and slowly a small movement was formed!  They would make these pencil packs and ask that others make them as well!   Initially their goal was 10,000 packs for 2016 sent to every processing center in the country.  Does that sound unachievable?  With God’s help – they have already hit that goal and gone over!  And people in other countries are making them as well!

Here’s how YOU can participate!

The Pencil Granny

When buying and assembling your supplies, people are having fun getting pretty colors or sports themes and matching items together.  You don’t have to, but you can 🙂  You can make up generic packs that can be inserted into either a Boy or Girl shoebox, or if you want to, for example, pack a bag full of “Hello Kitty” items, or all Spiderman items, then you can mark on the bags BOY, or GIRL.

pencil granny 2

If you can, “like” The Pencil Granny and Friends” Facebook Page.  Let them know how many you have made and which Processing Center your items  are destined for.  If you can’t, you can comment here and I will let them know 🙂

Pencil Granny 4

They even made up a little card to include in their personal baggies – you could easily print out some that had your email or address and personal message!

Pencil Granny 3

Each pencil can help change a life.  Children who stay in school can better their life with better jobs.  Here is just an example of how precious pencils are to keep children in school:

Just in time! Due to lack of resources, Florence Mae’s parents couldn’t provide her enough pencils and pens for her schooling. She used to have one pencil but she lend it to her seatmate who also doesn’t have a pen. Sometimes, her teacher would let Florence borrow her pen. During the OCC gift distribution, Florence excitedly approached us and told us she asked Jesus to give her pencils and school supplies and she could not believe her eyes for there in her shoe box are a dozen of pencils, lots of pens, big crayons and other school supplies. “These gifts are more than enough, now I can also share it with my seatmate too!”, she joyfully said. Indeed, God’s gift was just in perfect time for Florence needs in school,  Philippines 2011

 

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