WARNING: Rebecca D. shows flagrant disregard for the rules of punctuation... She uses ellipsis with wild abandon... Punctuation interventions have been done to no avail... If you are offended by such irreverence to the rules of grammar... The very glue that holds our society together... STOP READING NOW... Move on... There is a little button at the top that says "next blog"... You would be well advised to use it... You were warned...

Planning Ahead...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It is Back-to-School time in all the stores and even though I do not have young children to buy for I am trying to make it to all the sales... Why do I need .10 boxes of crayons and .35 packs of markers you ask? For one of my families favorite rituals...

(aka... Christmas Shoeboxes)

No doubt most of you have heard of this yearly tradition, but just in case you haven't...
You pack a shoe box with toys, school supplies, and toiletries and label it for a boy or girl and their age group...



Then the people at Samaritan's Purse gather them up...

 add a little book to each box sharing the gospel in the native language of the location it will be sent to and distribute them far and wide...


(All photos from the Samaritan's Purse site)


Like I said before, I am sure you know all of this, but I wanted to share some helpful tips to make this a more affordable project to participate in...

The first year we did this we did four boxes and ended up spending just shy of $90 when all was said and done... (And we mostly shopped in dollar stores!)  Although we were happy to do this, $90 in November had a large impact on my budget, so I started thinking there has to be a better way to do this...

Now we do 12 boxes a year and the out of pocket in November is $12.00...
How you ask, let me share...
You see each box requires a $7 donation... For twelve boxes, just the donation wold cost $84... No way we could do that and actually afford to pack the boxes, but we decided we can easily do $7 a month... That line of thinking made us decide to put $12 a month on our monthly budget... $7 for the shipping and $5 a month for contents...

On our third year we decided to pick one age/gender to focus on each year... There are six categories... This year we are focusing on "Girl age 4-6"... Why you ask? Because it is easier to know who you are buying for if you shop all year round and because places like Oriental Traders tend to do things by the dozen...

How we work it...

We have a bin that sits in a highly visible place in the basement... In it we have a jar that we put $7 in cash in each month, and another jar we put $5 in per month... Some people would just keep the money in the bank earmarked for this, but we live on the salary of a Private Christian school teacher... It would get spent if it was in the account but to physically take money out of the jar in the bin in the basement is something I would not do... Plus it has the added bonus of us looking in the bin every month...

Then we shop the sales... Buying things by the dozen as we see them... This year I was able to get pink plastic shoeboxes to use in three packs for $2. per pack, in May... (I prefer a plastic shoebox since the box then becomes part of the gift.) There are months we don't buy anything and months we see a lot... Party supply store clearance areas are our favorite, as are toy store clearance areas, but things really ramp up in late July as the back to school sales start... When else can you get a bundle of twelve fun colored wash cloths for $2.00? Only this time of year in the "Campus" section of the back-to-school areas in stores!

Anyhow, by the third week in November when the boxes are due we will have more than we can pack into our boxes (we always do) and all the money to cover the shipping... We will pack our boxes, donate the leftovers to others who pack multiple boxes (we start fresh every year, since it will be a new gender and age group) and for the last couple years we have had enough money left over in the "spend" jar to help sponsor a couple boxes packed by others... I tell you, those jars are like the loves and fishes... We spend all year on this project and always have money left over!

Yes, we do 12 boxes for $144. a year ($12 at a time) and we always have money left over! If you want to try this, set up your jars (or however works for you) and bin on December 1st and watch it grow all year!

Thanks for listening,


I don't know if she is doing it this week... But I did this post to link up to Julie's "Thoughtful Thursdays" over at As Jules Is Going... She is one of my newest bloggy friends, but one I have truly grown to love in the short time I've know her! She is also on day 2 of 20 days of giveaways... So pop over and meet her...

Linked Up...

Blog Hops Everyday and A Mommy's Blog Design Friday Blog Hop
 
Frugal Fridays on Life as Mom

10 comments :

  1. Our family did that for a while... Then we switched churches and our current church did not have it... Oh well... I really enjoyed it. We would put a pic of our selves and a little note to whomever got it. I knew people at our church who got responses from children all over. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this idea. We sponser a child but it's an automatic deduction and I confess, I just don't give it a thought. :(
    Your process is more 'hands on' and more involved in day to day or month to month REAL giving.
    I'm going to do some research...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rebecca, you rock!!! Sorry I didn't have a link up. I have several ideas for a Thoughtful Thursday. I'm think'n I'm gonna have to whip one up just for you!!!

    LOVE this idea by the way. That's why I need to do a link up for ya. totally support OCC and Samaritan's Purse. You are so right, we need to start thinking of it now. Even if it is 105'. ;o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://asjulesisgoing.com/olympic-snack-and-craft-thoughtful-thursday/

      Delete
  4. super awesome great idea!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rebecca! I love this! I'm going to go paste the link to my blog's fb page right now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. GREAT idea! (popped over from Mindee's)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Found you blog hopping. My family did shoeboxes for years. It sounds like you have it organized to a T- that's great! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my gosh... I BOW to your superior and creative planning skillz!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow you are so organized! We are usually shopping for our boxes the week they are due! Thanks for the reminder!

    ReplyDelete

Friends don't let friends go without comments....