April is just around the corner, and that means I’m gearing up to start a new Operation Christmas Child collection theme at church. We collected soap and rags in January; toys, clothes and blankets for 2-4 year old girls in February; and we are wrapping up collections for 2-4 year old boys for the month of March.
After some research and reading I learned that Samaritan’s Purse tends to see the most shoe boxes for 5-9 girls. With that in mind, we will be skipping that age group this year. So, April we will be collecting for 5-9 year old boys.
You’ll have to forgive me for being a bit scatter brained for my idea shopping trip this month. I actually needed to go to Walmart for milk and some produce. But I try to avoid going for a bunch of extra trips, so I tacked this shopping on too; and forgot my idea list at home. (Go, me!)
Without further ado, here is a list of what I did get…and a list of some other great ideas, as well.
Shoes and Socks**
Like the last 3 months, I’m going to ask folks to bring shoes and socks for the shoe boxes. Flip-flops are easy to fit in the shoe boxes, and Walmart has these for $0.98! I recommend getting size Small (5-6). As always, I encourage you to try to get some good sturdy shoes for the boxes. Flip-flops are better than barefoot. But real shoes… WOW! These canvas shoes are size 10 and cost $5.87. The socks are size 10-2 1/2 and $3.97 for 4 pair.
Pants and Shirts**
Clothes are great to include in Shoe boxes. I found these solid color shirts for $2.97 (the red one was marked down to $2. No idea why, but it may be worth digging.) I went with an XS and a M. The shorts were $4.97, and I went with size 5. Long pants would also be great, but they will need to be athletic type pants that will fold up really small. Remember to avoid wording or movie characters. What would be super popular here may be unknown, or even offensive in another culture.
Most Americans take things like underwear for granted. Other countries that just isn’t the case. It’s always good to include a pair or 2 of underwear in each box. I chose 4T briefs. The size chart says it will fit a 35-38 pound child. Small boxers or briefs would also be good for this age group. This package was $3.47 for 5 pairs.
Hats Bandanas and Sunglasses
Obviously, I didn’t remember to actually buy sunglasses the other day, but just some ordinary shades would be great in a shoe box. I found this beanie on sale for $.50! But caps or the floppy brimmed sun hats would also be great to include. Bright colored banadans are fun and useful. Pick them up at Walmart for $1, or go to Hobby Lobby for a huge selection at about the same price.
Just like for the last 2 months, stuffed animals are still welcome. Just remember to keep them small so we can still fit everything else in the boxes as well. These are T-balls so they are slightly softer and more bouncy than a regular baseball. I found them in lots of colors for $1.50. Tennis balls are also great. The match box cars were $3.47. The bigger cars that I suggested for 2-4 year old boys would be fabulous for this age group as well.
Some other ideas for 5-9 year old boys, include:
- Peg games (found on tables at Cracker Barrel. Find them near the store check out, for just a few dollars.)
- Magnifying glasses
- Flash lights
- Cups or bowls
Happy shopping y’all! Let’s bless some children with some material things, while reaching out to them with the Gospel.
**As sad as this sounds, many of the children who will be receiving these gifts live in countries where food in scarce, and undernourishment is rampant. I say that to remind you that what we would consider average size for each age group, may likely be a pretty big kid in another country.