Christmas Charity on a Shoestring!

Many of you know that I am coordinating a Blog Carnival and Contest for the Operation Christmas Child charity. We’ll have a virtual packing party on MomTV Thursday, Nov 5. This is one of my favorite projects, because you can really put a personal touch to it, and even send a letter or family picture!

Clair from Mummy Deals is also hosting an “In Real Life” Packing party near Chicago! As I was talking with Clair on the phone last night, she shared with me her post series on How to give on a budget. And let me tell you, this girl can SAVE! SO I asked if I could share some of her tips here for those packing boxes for OCC. This is also useful for local homeless shelters, food pantries, etc.

Here are the first five tips in her ten part series:

1. Seasonal Clearance: Clair stocked up all year, after last Christmas, Valentines Day. Independence Day, etc. She recently found Dollar General summer Clearance at 90% off! I honestly live right near a Dollar General, but have only stepped inside once! Time to go back! Read this post here.

2.Freebies: If you read Mummy Deals, you will learn how to get FREE stuff from drugstores, mail orders, etc. Clair doesn’t just stockpile the stuff for the family, she gives it away! ~to Habitat for Humanity, friends in need, and of course, OCC! Read this post here.

3. McDonald’s and other Fast Food toys! Mine actually get thrown under the bed, lost in the abyss of the toybox, or eaten by the dog. I am going to start swiping them when the kids don’t play with them to stick in my OCC stash! Read this post here

4. Re-Gifting: Hmmm… Never thought about this for OCC, but it’s a great idea! We usually re-gift for the family “White Elephant” gift exchange. There’s a hideous Christmas sweater that’s been going around for years! Read this post here.

5. Promo Items/Swag: Oooh, I’m thinking I need to go through my bags from the Conferences I’ve been to and see what I can give. Oh, of course I wouldn’t give away the stuff from your company, just those other ones! Read this post here

What are YOUR tips for giving to charities on a budget?

This post included in Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family. Click here to see tons more tips!

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About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. Just last night I was thinking there had to be somewhere I could donate those mcdonald toys that my son never plays with. THanks for the idea!


  2. These are some great ideas! Our family created shoeboxes for OCC last year and we are looking forward to it again this year. Our budget has been incredibly tight for the past year and a half, but this is a completely do-able charity project for ANYone!


  3. The Prudent Homemaker says:

    I recently wrote a list of ways to help others that can be done for little to no money here:


  4. Great tips for giving! 😀 Defintiely could start filling up boxes with the samples I've gotten. 😀


  5. Those are some great ideas! I usually try to plan for the holidays, but they sneaked up on me this year.


  6. PartyWeDo says:

    Try this idea: Host a white elephant gift party and ask everyone to purchase a child's gift for the exchange.
    Make the gifts fun and interesting so that they will still make for good conversation in the party.

    Then play the swap game as you would regularly, but at the end of the party, all the gift are put into a big box to go to a local gift drive.
    If you are doing an online white elephant party, just have everyone put in the shipping address of the charity,instead of their own.

    This way everyone has a social gathering and needy kids get new gifts for Christmas.


  7. Here is a post I wrote last year about shoe boxes on a shoestring:


  8. I always pull suckers from my kid’s Halloween loot to pack in our boxes. I also save the toys from birthday party goodie bags that my kids always forget about as soon as they get home. And I ask our dentist for a few extra tooth brushes and sample toothpastes to include.


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