My Shoeboxes are Ready!

Yesterday evening I started putting together my Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  I managed to scrounge up 17 of them around the house.  Here they are before getting filled.  No big deal, right?  Easy peasy!


Have you ever deboxed 50 Barbie, Skipper, Stacie, or Kelly dolls?  The hair is sewn onto plastic which is sewn onto cardboard.  Each doll has multiple heavy (ouch) twist ties.  Oh my goodness, what a job!  I’m glad I decided to do the deboxing because the poor little girls would probably have had an unhappy start with their new gifts.

I watched a live Facebook video that Operation Christmas Child did and found out that deboxing is fine.  In fact, it is encouraged because then more can fit inside the boxes.  If you’d like to watch this video scroll down until you see Hannah in purple at their warehouse.  (There is no direct link to the video.)  I found her presentation very helpful.

So this afternoon I am finally finished with the project; and a project it was.  Here are the totals of some of the things I packed:

57 Mattel dolls

28 stuffed animals

17 wash cloths

20 bars of soap

17 boxes of crayons

17 + pads of paper

17 pens

18 pairs of socks

A dozen or more doll outfits

Numerous purses, shoes, accessories for the dolls


Here are all the boxes filled.  I left them open to show you the goodies inside.




These dolls are all from my collection.  I started collecting them in the early 2000s before I discovered collector dolls.  I went a little crazy as you can see.  These dolls represent 1/4 to 1/3 of my collection.  Yes, I still have tons of dolls left . . . for next year.

You cannot see underneath the dolls, but some of the boxes have brand new doll fashions.  I was able to take the trays out of the boxes and trim them down to fit.  The clothing is only sewn onto the cardboard, so the girls will be able to take care of that themselves.

I snapped a few photos of my first boxes . . . then I got tired, sorry.









I ended up adding more stuffed animals and dolls to some of these boxes to fill them up a little more.

After I finished deboxing the dolls I filled up three trash bags!


My donation to cover shipping to the warehouse is made, the labels are printed and attached to the cartons, and the boxes are secured with ribbon.  I’ll be dropping them off this week.  To make things quick and easy there is a drop-off location minutes from my house.  I sure hope that my boxes find their way to girls who LOVE dolls.


Are you making a shoebox . . . or two?  If you are, what are you adding to your box?



21 thoughts on “My Shoeboxes are Ready!

  1. Joy

    I’ve never heard of this before. Wonderful idea and terrific that you were able to make so many boxes. Love your photos because I can just see the joyous look on the faces of those little girls when they open their box. Such fun things.

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Sorry for my delay in responding… Penny was getting antsy. (She’s currently getting something new.) Typically, I tend to not do things small. Notice all the dolls I collected, and who knows why. My husband says this is what they were for, only I didn’t know it at the time. I’m sure I have enough dolls left for the next two years at least, maybe more. These days I try to limit myself to one doll per body type; it doesn’t always work though.
      I do hope the girls like the dolls… In this country, I think these dolls would not be appreciated by little girls, but maybe I’m wrong.
      You, my dear, are very generous! What a nice thing you did for Jeanne! Wouldn’t it be fun if we all lived in the same area and could get together to share dolly talk and such! At least we have the internet to do so.
      Have a great day, Joy!

  2. Bobi Florida

    I don’t know if this is the correct way or place to send a word to you, Cindy, but I’ll give it a shot.  Just wanted to say your boxes look amazing and I can only imagine all the smiles and joy they will bring. I don’t think there’s a little girl anywhere that wouldn’t just love to receive one.  Everything you chose to include was absolutely perfect. Being a huge Kelly fan myself, I couldn’t help but drool a bit over all the cute examples I saw packed and ready to go.  May God bless you richly in all your endeavors and may he also bless the little hands that receive your gifts of love.   Bobi Florida    (>^-^<)

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Hi Bobi. Yes, this is the perfect place and way to “talk” to me. Your words of encouragement help me to know that this was the right thing to do. As I was making the boxes, I prayed that these would be happily accepted. The dolls are new, but are from years ago, so I wasn’t sure. I read on the Operation Christmas Child Facebook page that these shoeboxes most likely are the first gifts these children ever receive. I cannot imagine that.
      Anyway, I like to imagine the girls all playing together and maybe trading dolls and clothes, using their imagination in ways they never have before. I wonder which country they will go to…
      Thank you, Bobi, for your comment and your blessing too. ❤ I hope you have a beautiful day!

      1. maureenrose7

        Oh yes Cindy Im sure they all will just love them! Opening those boxes omgoodness will be like opening a treasure chest to them I just know it! And a feeling like that is sure to grow instant love inside of each and every one of them! XO! I know you probably already know this but you will cause a chain reaction in some of these girls and the good that you do this year they will repeat as adults! Your kindness will live on and on in them trust me!

      2. Cindy Rice Post author

        Oh, you are so sweet! Thank you for your kind words. It is amazing that such a small act by me can affect them in such a way. I am filled with joy to even imagine that!

      3. maureenrose7

        I was that liddle girl Cindy! So I speak from experience when I tell you this! I lost my mother at the young age of only 9 a few months before the holidays and still to this day the kindness shown to me from a complete stranger with a loving heart such as yourself that Christmas well it still fuels my giving nature! So for all of us that have been so lucky to know someone like you and for all of these liddle girls I thank you! ❤

      4. Cindy Rice Post author

        I am so sorry you went through the loss of your mother when you were so young. I cannot even imagine how devastating that must have been. But it’s so wonderful that you were given an angel on earth to help you through this time, and to help form you into the wonderful person you’ve become. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. It seems like it takes so little to do so much, doesn’t it?

      5. maureenrose7

        Very sweet of you to say so. I can not look back in sorrow I believe the heartbreak of it all is really what has grown this ultimate form of gratitude in me and truly made me a great mom…when you realize that life is not a promise but a gift you seem to relish in every day or something ya know? Im glad to know you Cindy! truly my pleasure! XO!

  3. Line

    So kind of you and such a thoughtful way of downsizing your collection.Yes, you are about to give joy and delight to a lot of little girls.

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Thank you! This way of downsizing my collection is SO MUCH MORE rewarding than selling them on ebay or donating to Goodwill! It is said that these shoeboxes are the first gifts ever for these children! Imagine that! I hope you have a great day!

  4. Catherine

    Dear Cindy,
    I think that this operation is wonderful! Your boxes are fantastic!
    Your generosity is incredible and you are a beautiful example for selfish people!
    Each box is filled with love and what it contains will make little girls in need so happy!
    Thank you for being a valuable person, I am very proud to know you.
    Have a good afternoon!

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      Hi Catherine. I hope that I can give at least one other person, who has too many dolls, a way to downsize and bring happiness at the same time. The idea to put the dolls in shoeboxes came together for me by talking about it here and on my Facebook page.
      Since the boxes will most likely go to the same place, I like to imagine the girls all playing dolls together, perhaps for the first time in their lives! Happy thoughts!
      Thank you for supporting me, Catherine! Have a beautiful day! ❤

    1. Cindy Rice Post author

      It’s a great way to downsize a doll collection. I still have lots more dolls for next year. The boxes ended up in Zambia, Madagascar, Namibia, and Peru. Thanks for commenting! ❤

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