100days 81 Days left until Operation Christmas Child Collection Week!  What to Pack for A BOYS 10-14 Shoe Box?

We’ve listed ideas for the 2-4 year old age group, and had posts about the Girl 5-9 shoe boxes and the Boy 5-9 shoe boxes and Girl 10-14 Shoe Box.  The fewest boxes they receive are for BOYS, both in the 2-4 age range and in the 10-14 age range.  If for whatever reason at the distribution point they don’t have boxes for them, they occasionally are given either Boy 5-9 or even Girl boxes.  But you will see that many of the items will be the same as any age category and could be boy or girl!

OCC MONGOLIA, NOMADIC FAMILIES. School Supplies  – Did you know that many children can’t attend school because they don’t have school supplies?  School supplies are powerful tools that could transform these children’s futures.

  • Pencils and sharpener
  • Pens
  • Colored Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Solar calculator
  • Watercolor sets
  • Mechanical Pencils
  • Glue sticks, Adhesive tape
  • Pencil Case
  • Notebooks, pads, index cards and all kinds of paper
  • Blank cards for writing notes to friends/family
  • Construction paper
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors (this age group can have sharp pointed scissors)
  • Ruler, protractor (metric)
  • Stickers
  • More complicated coloring books or sketch pads
  • Self-Inking stamps or stamps and ink pad
  • Chalk, small chalkboard
  • Backpack, or tote

NEW to the brochure this year:

Include items that children will immediately embrace, such as dolls, toy trucks, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, balls, toys that light up and make noise, etc.

This will be the exciting and fun item of your box, so for BOYS to play with:

A boy in a slum area of Venezuela arrived at an distribution with an old baseball glove tucked under his arm. He told a volunteer, “I wish there was a new glove in my box.” He opened his gift to find a new glove! It was the first time the national OCC team had seen a baseball glove in a box.

  • Stuffed animal – even older boys need something to hug!
  • Balls (tennis balls, wiffle balls, bouncy balls, paddleballs, hacky sack, football, nerf balls, beach ball, juggling balls)
  • Mitt
  • Soccer Ball with pump
  • Cars or trucks (every boy seems to LOVE “matchbox” type cars)
  • Puzzles
  • Slinky
  • Tops
  • Games that don’t require alot of directions (they might not read or know English) – checkers, dominoes, ring toss, playing cards
  • Flying items – foam and paper airplanes, kites, frisbees
  • Musical instruments – a better quality than for the younger age group
  • Yoyo
  • Handheld Etch-a-Sketch
  • Legos
  • Jump rope
  • Marbles

Clothing Items (Bigger is always better than smaller when choosing a size.  For tips check these sizing charts:  ONE and TWO

John 14 years, from Madagascar Underwear is a far fetched dream for our parents to buy for a primary school boy – they do not think it is a necessity. I have been praying for the day I would wear underwear.  As we are growing, we become conscience of our environment.   I got the most precious gift,  six white under wears of my size.  I am now comfortable at school.  Thank you very much; I know it is God answering my prayers.

  • Hat, Visor
  • Gloves, mittens
  • Scarf
  • Underwear!
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Flip Flops
  • T-shirt, any shirt!
  • Pants
  • Jacket
  • Bandana
  • Rain poncho

Grooming and Hygiene Items

  • Mild Soap (in a baggie please!)
  • Washcloth or small towel
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste (check the expiration date! for this year’s collection, the box might not be delivered well into 2014…possibly even summer of 2014)
  • Deodorant
  • Handkerchief
  • Comb or Brush
  • Nail Clippers

Some other different items:

  • Fishing Kit (container with hooks, sinkers, corks or floats, fishing line)
  • Foldable fishing pole
  • Tools (Hammer, screwdriver, wrench, pliers) – Some boys have jobs or need to help around the home
  • Nails or screws (in containers please)
  • Duct tape, rope
  • Measuring tape
  • Work gloves, work apron
  • Bowl, cup, plate, spoon, fork
  • Gardening Kit – Gardening gloves, trowel (NO seeds)
  • Watch
  • coin purse
  • Flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Folding umbrella
  • Plastic magnifier (not everyone has access to eye care, or glasses)
  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Colorful Band-Aids

Hard Candy – check the expiration date and DOUBLE BAG.

Homemade items are great to include:  You can check our blogs on Homemade Items, or you might want to check our PINTEREST BOARD for hundreds of crafting ideas! and at Crafting for Shoeboxes they have a list of ideas of what to make for the 10-14 group.


  • War related toys (soldiers, guns, etc). No camo clothes or items.
  • NO knives or saws.
  • Liquids or lotions. So no bubbles or shampoo or liquid glue. It might leak and ruin the box.
  • Used/worn items. We want to bless these children with new items.  So anything obviously used or worn will be removed from your shoebox.
  • Food or chocolate.  It might melt or spoil.
  • Medications and vitamins.
  • Aerosal cans. Yikes, these could explode!

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83 Responses to Ideas for a BOY 10-14 Shoe Box

  1. ShellBell says:

    Thanks so much for these ideas. I try to focus on the older boys, but hadn’t thought of a lot of these items. Your suggestions are much appreciated!

  2. Cathy says:

    I have a couple of friends who told me that boys are “too hard to pack for.” My response is that it is really very simple. The foundation of my boxes, regardless of age, is a beany baby teddy bear, tennis ball (older kids LOVE having them for cricket), and 2 hotwheels. Then I add the apporpriate size clothing and/or shoes–usually a tshirt and sock or flipflops. I let the clearance sales control what clothing the kids get. Then I add age appropriate fillers. For 2-4 its often happy meal toys, a small blanket and a can of playdoh. For 10-14 its some combination of tools and or fishing supplies. Hope this helps.

    • Angie C. says:

      How do you fit shoes and clothes into the boxes? I found that the shoebox provided is too small for shoes that would fit a 14 year old boy and leaves no room for anything else. One child mentioned that he wished he had underwear, but they would fill the box almost entirely. I wish OCC would increase the size of the standard box they provide, especially for the 10 – 14 age group, both boys and girls. They are larger than the little kids and we could give them a bit more of what they need.

      • Mary says:

        The goal of the GO box is that more children will receive a gift. At our packing parties (we packed 1500 last year) we only used GO boxes.

        When you say the underwear would fill the box entirely – I guess you mean an entire pack with packaging. We remove ALL of the packaging on every item. Then we separate multi packs. So a boy might receive 1 boxer brief and a t-shirt. Once you remove packaging, everything is MUCH smaller and easier to pack. Sometimes we squeeze and item smaller and rubber band it to keep it small, and then pack it.

      • monique says:

        i bought the 14 year old boy a tool set with tool bag, it is 12″ long and wide and does NOT fit in the OCC boxes and not even fit in the 6-qt plastic sterilte box, so i bought a 9-qt box and it is good to go!

        also did that with the gardening spade set which is too long as the above as well. but all my other boxes are the 7 qt sterilite, i did 10 boxes for the 14 year old boys and the extra large size hoodie took up the entire cardboard OCC box and barely fit in the sterilite 7-qt.

        i would say for items that don’t fit to use the sterilite boxes then they have a nice container to use for work or food storage or fetching water, depending on what country it goes to.

        in any event when buying for a 14 year old size 8 shoes are a problem unless that is all you are going to be sending.

        • Mary says:

          While OCC will accept any size box, they only recommend using the 6 quart size. Larger boxes are more difficult to pack in a carton and fewer of them can be sent. The goal is to pack 14 shoeboxes into a carton – this not only saves on shipping cost, but often in the countries themselves, ppl can only carry a few cartons – on elephants, motorcycles, by hand, canoe, etc., so the more boxes in a carton, the more children can receive gifts.

      • Lenny says:

        I buy plastic tubs that are larger and stuff them full using really big rubber bands to keep them closed. Photo boxes at craft shops are also bigger and sturdy.

      • Alicia says:

        I know this is a year late but fill the shoes with items. Roll the underwear up instead of folding…I’m always amazed at how much I can cram inside one of the boxes….

      • ml says:

        i pack clothing items or anything with volume that is soft in ziplocs, then i sit on them to get all the air out! I then wrap them with masking tape so the air will not escape. I packed a fleece blanket this way and still had plenty of room for all the other stuff I put in, and i tend to cram as much into the boxes as I can get in there!

  3. Cathy says:

    A suggestion from my husband: If you send a hammer, screwdrivers or wrenches, also send nails, screws, and nuts/bolts. He added them himself to my first 10-14 boy boxes–it would have never occurred to me to send the appropriate hardware to go with the tools.

  4. Amy says:

    Being female, shopping for pink sparkly fluffy girl stuff is more fun than shopping for boys, but I’ve found that packing boxes for the older boys is fun in its own way. Lots of boys like to draw, so I always include a ton of the school supplies I get in the back-to-school sales–spiral notebooks, crayons, markers, sharpener, pens, pencils. Also clothing items like t shirts and flip flops. You can get super balls at many Old Navy stores in a giant gumball machine for 25 cents. Thre are lots of things to put in boxes for the older boys!

    • monique says:

      a great store to shop for the 14 year old boys:
      HOME DEPOT, HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS (have cheap $4 sturdy tool bags), LOWES, for rope, zip ties, hammers, crescent wrenches, needle nose pliers, tape measure, duct tape, work gloves, garden supplies (spades, claw soil turner), nails and screws (put inside zippered tool bag), bungee chords, and some stuff like sweat shirts at Walmart. They are pubescent, like hygiene things like men’s deodorant, combs, picks, depending on type of hair, large size boxer briefs are good because they are stretchy and can fit the smaller boys and stretch to fit larger boys, Sweatshirts are inexpensive, extra large, and if on sale or can afford hoodies extra large or down vests, in colder countries wool-like scarfs and gloves. Also a pair of drum sticks with a small practice pad is an idea as well, can get at ebay for around $6 for both, once he gets the hang of it he’ll be ratta-tat-tatting on trees, rocks, walls, and anything he can make a rhythm on, the harmonic is good too, wooden flute good too, to send both so he can share with a friend and play music together is fun idea too. Soccer balls deflated (every ball comes with one) and then add a small ball pump $1 from Dollar Tree. Also leather necklaces with a pendant are also good gifts, i bought 3 today for $1.65 on ebay they look really masculine and had a pewter pendent of an angel wing on it, also designed masculine, they are long and he can tie them to the length he wants.

      coloring books…well, i feel the 14 year olds would tolerate them, but truly artistic kids are well beyond filling in colors by age 14, they are sketching so a sketch pad would be good with appropriate pencils, colored and art pencils. these are young men and definitely job-seeking minded to feed their families and themselves. tools they can fix bikes and get work helping fix things around the house too. also shoes are very important so they can go to school and for jobs too. We cannot send paint, but even some paint brushes would enable him to assist the men in his village with painting.

      they like cool hats (ball caps and beenies and other hats). sure there are some that lean towards art, but at 14 they would be drawing in a sketch book and much more intricate things.

      it seems to me the age grouping should be 11-14, not 10-14, however, in their lives they start seeking work earlier than the young men in USA, because if they don’t work they don’t eat and many do not have fathers to support the family, and some no family at all. So many of them are already “working,” albeit digging through dumps for items of any worth, so they are ready and willing and in great desire to work, they just don’t have shoes or tools or clothes to get the jobs.

      i know, we wish we could send a huge box to the 14 year olds!! but the Holy Spirit will help us and them.

  5. Melody says:

    Just a note, I don’t think playing cards (the kinds used for tradional card games) are allowed either as it can potentially used for gambling and they want to discourage that…

  6. Cathy says:

    I wondered if any one would address the concern with playing cards. I’ve sent them often, Dollar Tree used to sell 3-packs of cards and I bought a bunch. While I certainly don’t want to encourage gambling, I’m a Solitaire addict so I do like to pack playing cards. I was hesitant to send them last year but I’ll be sending them this year.

    • Mark says:

      I don’t have anything against playing cards, but I usually don’t include them. My experience with third-world countries is that card playing isn’t that popular among most kids. Also, where cards are popular, they are usually pretty cheap and easily available, so their value as a gift doesn’t seem that great.

    • Mary says:

      They are an “allowed” item. A few of the over 100 different countries your box may go to, don’t approve of playing cards, but there is no way to know if your box will end up there. It is a personal choice if you include them or not.

  7. Mark says:

    Versatile gifts are a lot of fun for older boys – things that you can do a lot of different things with. For example, duct tape or other sturdy tape, wire, colored paper, string or cord, rubber bands, pipe cleaners, and so on. They can be of the construction/repair type, or the art supply type – either is fine. A lot of school supplies are also really versatile.

    Baseballs weren’t specifically mentioned, but those are really good to include – very durable and fun to play with even if baseball isn’t popular where the boy lives. I would also consider including a geometry set or drafting set. These are sometimes available for a dollar or two but a good one usually costs more. But you might have “rewards” to use up or need to make a minimum purchase to get a good deal. One of these could really open up some boy’s world, and send a strong message that the boy’s mind and vocation are valuable.

  8. Mark says:

    One other group of items that wasn’t mentioned is small “filler” type toys. Besides the small bouncy balls and kaleidoscopes (which are both terrific ideas), well-made versions of toys sold as party favors or novelties work well. For example, noisemakers, whistles, balloons (regular or “punch-ball” types), magnets, and prism-type viewers (sometimes called “dragonfly eyes”) are a ton of fun. These are also good for 5-8 year-olds. But don’t worry about toys being too childish – unless it’s literally a baby toy, an older boy can find a way to play with it.

    Ideally, toys shouldn’t need instructions – it should be obvious how you use it (look into it, blow into it, bounce it, or whatever). If a toy or game (like a card game) does need instructions, be sure to include them. Also, where possible choose sturdy versions that are built to last, instead of the cheap party favor versions.

  9. Cat says:

    Seriously, a baseball is a good idea? I would think its really only useful with a glove and a bat. As a foolish girl who played with boys a lot, baseballs bruised my hands and face many times–just playing catch. I feel so much better about sending tennis balls. I guess we all just need to send what we feel called to send.

    • Mary says:

      “I guess we all just need to send what we feel called to send.” I thoroughly agree with this! What might seem odd or foolish to one person, might be exactly what that child needed. For example, I’ve never included a fishing kit, others feel compelled to. I actually did hear a story about baseballs…a number of boxes came through the processing center and a woman commented that they all had baseballs and what an odd thing. Seems her friend got to hear the rest of the story, for she was on a distribution where those boxes were given out. The boys and the community was overjoyed to get them, they all loved baseball! They already had the mitts, they needed balls! In the end…it starts and ends with prayer. The boxes are more than the sum of their parts :)

    • Mark says:

      As a former 10-14-year-old boy, I can tell you baseballs are fun! And not just for baseball. They can also be used in cricket, field hockey, and several other sports. You can also make up games based on what equipment you have (that’s how games like stickball got started), or have fun with them in other ways, like knocking over targets with them. They’re a very versatile and durable toy.

  10. Amy says:

    If you’re concerned about real baseballs being too “hard,” Target sells 8 packs of those practice baseballs (either white or an assortment of red and blue, the plastic kind with holes) for $4, which means 50 cents each. This is what I include in my boy 10-14 boxes. Can’t remember the brand (Franklin?) but they seem incredibly sturdy.

  11. […] What to Buy For a 10-14 Year Old Boy’s Box […]

  12. Trisha says:

    What about a tube of light sticks? I know young children like them and teenage girls like them…they come with connectors to make all kinds of fun things.

    • Mary says:

      While OCC says they are allowed, there have been reports of many volunteers taking them out of shoe boxes at the processing centers since they perceive them to contain liquid. OCC trains their volunteers as best they can, but these fall in that “grey” area and there has been some confusion.
      While I love them, there is not guarantee that children would understand what they were, or how to use them. That is the problem with lots of different toys and items.
      However, if you feel led to include them, absolutely do so!

  13. Rosemary says:

    I’ve just bought a pack of cards for a boy of 10-14, I hope that will be ok :/

    I know that many boys of 15 and over will be receiving these boxes due to lack of boxes being done for boys, so I thought they would enjoy a card game, but hope it won’t encourage gambling when they’re older…

    • Mary says:

      Rosemary, I see that you have a UK email address. The items listed in this post are for the US. There are different regulations depending upon which country you are sending from (custom regulations). I would check with the UK Operation Christmas Child website just to make sure that playing cards are allowed from the UK.

  14. staci says:

    What is done with the items removed from the boxes people send in? Where do those items go? I assume kids here in the US, but to what or where specifically? :) Thank you for any information.

    • Mary says:

      The items go to over 40 different charities, and they are different based on the location of each different processing center. Some go to women’s shelters, homeless charities, etc. (lots of the liquids, like shampoo and soap, etc.)
      One of my local schools helped out on several distributions to Native American reservations in the Dakotas. In addition to the shoeboxes the children received, the truck also had cartons and cartons of chocolate (that was removed at processing….but could be sent to them since they are in the US). That was a real special treat for the children.

  15. suzanne Patterson says:

    Another problem with aerosol cans is they contain propellants in which folks might purposely inhale. Also, I called the organization playdoh is forbidden because kids eat it.

    • Mary says:

      I’m not sure what country you are from Suzanne. The US Operation Christmas Child facebook page has consistently (and way over 10 times already) answered the question, “Is Playdoh allowed” and have answered that YES it is. Not sure if perhaps you are from another sending country. Each sending country has a different set of rules.

  16. Eowyn says:

    My question is about box inspection. When the boxes are being inspected I assume it is thorough search. I have spent a lot of time packing my box like a puzzle and squishing all the air out of plush toys in ziplock bags as to cram nor in. Are the inspectors able to repack the boxes every time? Will they open the stuffed animal bags? What happens if they can’t repack the box?

    • Mary says:

      In the past, they used to fully empty and repack the box. That seems to no longer be the case. Last year (and perhaps the year before) the inspection was just finger poking…moving things ever so slightly to see all around just to check for inappropriate items. It is alot less intrusive than it used to be. And don’t worry, they are volunteers who also pack their own boxes…they love the project and will make every effort to keep your box just as you had it….and then tape it up good! for it’s journey to your child.

  17. Amy says:

    When I was growing up, playing cards were used to play all kinds of games such as crazy eights, rummy, heats, slap jacks and more. We didn’t have a lot of individual specialize card packs. When sending playing cards, include instructions on how to play these types of games. One deck of cards…many games to play.

  18. Sherrie Klingaman says:

    I love the idea of sending baseballs but they are costly. Woofle balls don’t last as well as cheap plastic. While at Wal-Mart I came across a great alternative. They are hard plastic baseballs that look like a woofle ball that are used in baseball for training. My package has 20 balls for about $13.00. Online, Wal-Mart has a package of 24 for about the same price. Average price of $.50. Because they are so light it also helps with the weight thus the cost of overall shipping is less.

  19. Sherrie Klingaman says:

    With the debate on sending playing cards, I do send them but throw out the jokers. In standard kids games they really aren’t needed, only for gambling purposes. I figure this is a good compromise

  20. Karen says:

    I would like to add a couple of things about what happens to inappropriate items removed from the boxes at the processing centers— someone checks to see if items have been removed that shouldn’t have been, is so, the items are put into the filler bins and the volunteers are told to leave them in.

    Also, what is or isn’t allowed can vary depending upon the country receiving the shoeboxes and what their “customs officials” will allow in–so items like playing cards and rubber snakes may be allowed into some countries, but not into others. Some countries have complained about too much candy in the shoeboxes in the last 2 or 3 years.

  21. Jill says:

    Balls-at distribution site last year, I noticed and removed several plastic balls that were already flat from loss of air. I suggest sending only solid balls that dont have air in them (baseball, the real solid bounce balls, nerf balls), hollow balls like wiffle balls, or balls to which air can be added like beach balls you can blow up or real soccer or footballs sent with a pump.

  22. Nancy says:

    How can I fit a baseball glove, fishing pole, and other larger gifts into a small shoe box? I tend to overpack, so buy 6 qt. plastic boxes; they hold a lot more. Forget the ones we have to assemble – they are colorful, but not spacious enough for big boys toys. And a baseball glove? Screws, bolts, nails are sold separate at most stores, so does that mean I can’t include them with a new, small hammer set? Please explain & any packing ideas would be nice.

  23. Nan says:

    How can I pack a baseball glove, fishing pole, and other neat boy’s gifts in the Samaritan’s standard box? They aren’t spacious enough for the gifts I send.
    Also, I find that nails, bolts, screws, etc. are sold separately and are not pre-packaged. Can new ones be sent in a plastic bag? Small hammer & screw-driver sets are easy to find at our Target, but what about accesories?

    • Mary says:

      Hi Nancy!
      Yes you can change the packaging of ANY item – so you can pack some nails, screws etc. into a tin, plastic container (upcycled pill bottle, baby food container, altoid tin, old film containers, etc.). I think that might be nicer than a plastic baggie – nails and screws might just poke right through those bags. (Even my hubby has many of his screws and nails stored that way!)
      I package my pins, needles, etc. in exactly the same way – so they don’t poke children, or the people who will be examining your shoebox at the processing center.
      as far as how to fit things in your shoebox – They do sell some folding fishing poles – but many include just the fishing line, sinkers and hooks (also in plastic containers) so that a child could use a found stick.
      I have packed a baseball glove and ball – and found all the other nooks and crannies in that box to fit the other items. Even a deflated soccer ball and pump really does fit in the tiny “GO” OCC shoeboxes – In this post you can see pictures of how Jennifer was able to do just that! http://www.clipwithpurpose.com/how-about-including-a-soccer-ball/
      It is a challenge, lol!
      I have found that same frustration – pack 2 shoeboxes then instead of just 1. You will end up blessing 2 children with those abundant items!

      • mary wallerius says:

        i read somewhere yesterday that all nails and screws/bolts, ect need to be in their ORIGINAL packaging and also the same for any tools like screwdrivers. i was hoping to be able to take these out of the packaging to save room! i have some tool sets still in their boxes and had wanted to removed each item so the actual box wouldn’t take up so much space. i’m from the us. thanks. any ideas?

        • Mary says:

          Hi Mary :) Since you live in the US, you can take ALL ITEMS out of their original packaging. You may remove all tags as well.

          Every sending country has a different set of rules and regulations. Also things change over time.

          I saw that same statement on a post on a blog from a few years ago. It is incorrect. I have spoken with OCC from the US about this numerous times and they always respond that you may remove all packaging. I wrote a blog post here: http://www.clipwithpurpose.com/packaging-what-to-remove-and-what-to-add/

          It would be nice to put the loose nails and screws into a container of sorts – pill bottle, little Tupperware or even a ziploc baggie – just to keep them together and to prevent pricked fingers when people are inspecting the shoebox, or when the child is opening the shoebox. It would be nice to have something to store them in – but pick something much smaller than the original packaging.

    • monique says:

      a really great thing to put all the tools and screws and nails in is a TOOL BAG. they are $4 at HARBOR FREIGHT and i picked one up at Walmart for $3.97 (i did a price match with home depot sale). you can assemble the tools and the nails and work gloves rope etc in the tool bag.

      it’s sort of like buying a brush and hair ties and other girlie things into a cosmetic bag instead of placing all the items into the box loose in bags. and can put an old but clean small cottage cheese or other type container in there so he can pour his nails and screws into it when he gets home. just sayin’

    • Wendy W says:

      Stores like Walmart and dollar stores often have kits of various nails and screws packaged in a divided plastic box. These are perfect for shoebox packing.

  24. anya says:

    Hi everyone! I was wondering if makeup is OK for the 10-14 age category. I know we can’t do liquids, but I was thinking maybe a tube of babylips lipstick, and a thing of eyeliner. What about dry makeup like eyeshadow?

    • Mary says:

      Dry makeup is acceptable and is allowed to be packed. That would be the official stance.
      This part is ONLY my PERSONAL opinion: 10-14 is a little young for makeup if you think the child might end up being 10 when receiving the shoebox. Plus we need to consider the culture of the countries that will receive the shoeboxes. In the poorer communities, very few ppl wear makeup or accept the idea of ppl wearing makeup. The children of the poorer communities overseas live in vastly different circumstances than our own children.

  25. Michelle says:

    Dollar Tree has other cards that I choose over playing cards. They are Bible games and Bible character cards and come in packs of 2 to 3. I like to send these because they help to emphasize the word we are trying to get across in a fun way and there is no chance of them being mistaken as a gambling tool.

  26. Haley says:

    This is so awesome. My mom works for OCC and this age group is actually the least gifted; The older boys sometimes don’t get boxes because of it. My husband and I are purchasing soley for boys this year. Thank you for all the ideas!!

    • Mary says:

      OCC has repeatedly stated on their facebook page that it is the 2-4 year old boys and the 10-14 year old boys. Some people just find it hard to purchase items for boys. I think they are easy, lol. And this age is so hard for these teens, these boxes will be like giving them a big hug.

  27. Caron says:

    Was looking for ideas, and there is MY box in the hands of that smiling boy. It was such a heartwarming experience to actually see my box in his hands, that I plan to fill more boxes this year. Made my day!

  28. Alisha says:

    Thanks for all your great ideas! My question is more geared towards girls but since you are so knowledgeable about appropriate items I thought I’d give you a try. 😉
    I have a cricut cutting machine and was thinking about cutting out paper dolls with interchangeable outfits from colorful paper. Like the old fashion kind we had as kids that have the little tabs on the clothes you fold over the dolls body. I would make it out of sturdy paper and place them in a nice little bag to hold it all together. What do you think?

    • Mary says:

      Absolutely Alisha! That sounds wonderful. You could make the doll body out of card stock, or even glue it to cardboard (even from a cereal box). I loved paper dolls as a kid (I’m 60, lol). I’ve purchased a bunch for my boxes over the years and have been meaning to make my own. My daughter has a Silhouette and I think I can do something similar to the cricut. Have fun!

    • Jayme says:

      This sounds like a good idea to me as well. But I would also include a roll of scotch tape if possible. I know as a kid, I accidentally tore the tabs off those paper doll clothes quite frequently. If they have tape, they will be able to fix the tabs and keep using the dolls. And they can also use the tape for other things.

  29. Ronalyn says:

    I just paid for 6 boxes to follow, but I only was able to print 1 shipping label, how is that going to work?

    • Mary says:

      As the instructions on the webpage say: “You can use the same label for all of your shoeboxes. Your specific barcode is connected to your e-mail address, so it’s important to include the label on each of your boxes, so they can be scanned before shipment.”

  30. Lenny says:

    I saw Franklin Graham on TV and was so happy he suggested solar flashlights. I tried Amazon first then found them in 2 local stores for $5. I also found Oriental Trading co. for many things like magnifying glasses, spinners and rings that light up, chalk boards and chalk, bell necklaces, mini frisbees and many great whistles.Thanks for all these ideas for older boys but I’d like to know which age and sex is needed as I keep reading different answers.

  31. becky anderson says:

    We use the plastic containers that Crystal Light drink mixes come in to pack alot of small items. Ususally put erasers, pencil sharpeners, jewlelry, nails, screws etc. We saved over 30 containers this year and they work great.

  32. Louanne Huff says:

    Is it okay to use LOOSE bobby pins, paper clips, rubber bands, pencil top erasers or safety pins, to fill all the little nooks and crannies? I want to fill every space with something useful for the family. Please let me know. Thanks!

  33. Angie says:

    Does OCC allow fishing hooks or needles for a sewing kit? I’ve seen so many great ideas but wasn’t sure if they’d allow some of those object. Obviously I’m packing for the older boys and girls.


    • Jessica says:

      Yes, they are allowed. I would recommend putting the hook in a cork so it doesn’t poke the child on accident and putting needles in a piece of felt or something similar.

  34. Alice Nelson says:

    This popped up on my computer tonight and I don’t know how. It’s a God wink! I am heavily involved with OCC at my church and have been for 16 years. This year we will have our third church wide packing party in November. The first year we packed 800+, last year 1009, and this year our goal is 1200. All ages get involved and enjoy and support it. This year we have just had a craft day to make gifts for the shoeboxes. Over 50 adults and children made darling soap and washcloth animals and dolls, craft stick airplanes, sewing kits, jewelry, bookmarks, decorated flip-flops, bandanas, foam craft kits, rubber band bracelets, clothespin dolls, puzzles, etc. We had a lot of fun and camaraderie!
    I don’t know if this website is still active, but I enjoyed reading the past comments. I hope you pop up again!

  35. Gay says:

    I was not aware the boxes were opened and some items redistributed. That made me sad as I pray for and think of that child. Many things like girls dresses and doll with dress match. Also, I can’t find a drop off location on the website, just a date. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

    • Jessica says:

      Boxes are opened and inspected but NOTHING is redistributed! OCC is very careful to make a box stay as complete and only remove inappropriate items.
      Drop off locations will not be listed until October.

  36. Chris Kelp says:

    I have worked with OCC for 23 years at my church in Michigan and gone to North Carolina 2 times. Inappropriate items like shampoo and liquid soap are removed. Tee shirts and flip flops are great. So are socks and underwear. Sewing kits for girls or any kind of craft supplies, boys like tools or fishing kits. You can wrap 30 feet of fishing line around a clothes pin and then put the hooks and sinkers in a medication bottle. If you send shoes pack the inside of the shoes. If the size doesn’t fit the child will give them to someone who they will fit. Kids who have nothing are so willing to share what they get with their family and friends.

  37. Cathy says:

    I have read the comments about adding clothes and flip flops. What size would you suggest for a 10-14 year old box? I want to add things that will be useful to the child and that he will be able to wear. Thank you

  38. Juanita says:

    In the I usually chose the 5-9 year age group. When I read about the shortage for boys, decided to do the boys, age 10-14. Must say this year has been the most fun! Today at our local pawn shop, found some brand new parachute survival bracelets for sale. Had not seen them on any suggestion list, but decided they would be a good addition to the boxes. Asked for a deal on them, but didn’t get anywhere with that. Told the gentleman after the transaction was completed, what I was doing with them. He said he had known that he would have made me a deal! (well maybe!) :)

    Putting the candy in Ziploc bags, but also anything that could be damaged by melting candy, leaky ink pens, etc. I have a feeling the families can make good use of the Ziploc bags for awhile anyway. (any thought on Twizzlers, are they ok?)

    Have not seen any suggestion for this, but I am including a packing list in my box; each item and how it is packed and expiration date if applicable. Don’t if they will like this not, but thought it might help.

    My list, for now, boxes are almost full, but going to try to squeeze a few more things:

    1. Plain white T-shirt, size L (10-12) (Ziploc bag)
    2. Bar of soap inside soap holder (Ziploc bag)
    3. 2 washcloths (Ziploc bag)
    4. Tube of toothpaste (expiration date 2017) (Ziploc bag)
    5. 2 toothbrushes inside toothbrush holder
    6. Comb
    7. Soccer ball
    8. Air pump
    9. Pkg 2 needles for air pump
    10. Flashlight with 2 batteries (original pkg)
    11. 6 loose AA batteries with tape on both ends (Ziploc bag)
    12. Parachute survival bracelet
    13. Smarties candy individually wrapped (Ziploc bag) (best by 4/27/2018)
    14. Bubble gum individually wrapped (Ziploc bag) (best by 9/2017)
    15. Twizzlers candy, individually wrapped, loose in box (best by 8-2016)
    16. 3 ballpoint pens (black, red, blue) (Ziploc bag)
    17. Dual power calculator
    18. 12’ tape measure

  39. Rachel R. says:

    I would never have guessed that the LITTLE boys are a less-packed category. We’re sending one this year, because we send one box for the age/gender group closest to each of my children’s ages (it makes it special for them tp pack a box for a child “like them”). I only have one son, so we’re only doing the one boy box. But I’ll be sure to keep these in mind once my children are older than the ages packed for.

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