Let’s see, what were we talking about? Oh yes, free shoeboxes. (Checking blog planner, yep, that’s right. ) So, now that we know what to do with ‘em*, where do we get ‘em?
Acting on a tip from Clip with Purpose, I asked my son, Grant, to check with his former bosses at Marshalls last fall about getting a herd of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child’s Collection Week.
Lotsa Shoeboxes in a Little Car
The answer was a resounding, “Yes!” with an added interest in getting materials about the cause to share with their employees.
When my husband and I showed up in our little car – ooooh, I miss our minivan – Chris, the assistant manager, took us to the shoebox stash. And I mean, stash!
We brought home I don’t know how many boxes, but they filled our trunk AND our backseat.
Shoeboxes Every Week?
And was I ever shocked when Chris asked, “Would you like this many every week?”
Ummm, yes. And ummm, no.
I don’t have storage space for that many boxes, filled or empty. So we agreed I could make it a Call As You Need Them kind of deal.
Shoeboxes for Shipping … and Sorting and Storing
When I called back in January to get some more empty boxes for our sorting/storing process, Margaret, the supervisor on duty, was not only eager to save boxes, she was happy to report how much she loved working with Grant and hoped he would be able to come back to work during his summer break.
Awww, now that makes a mama feel all warm and smooshy inside. <3
It’s Your Turn
How can you get free shoeboxes if you don’t have an in-store contact?
This is how I did it before my son worked at Marshalls:
- Cold call: Pick out a few shoe shops in town and give them a call.
- Visit a shoe store, ask to speak to their manager, and see if you can work out a shoebox pick-up deal.
- Buy shoes or other item. I have found it is easier to ask for free boxes (they’ll just throw them out anyway) if we buy something. Even if it’s just a pair of shoelaces or a package of socks. For your shoebox, maybe?
- If you have a store you frequent, develop a relationship with the manager or customer service rep. Even a simple, “Hello,” on a regular basis turns you from a customer to a real person in their eyes. I know, I used to work retail.
- Share official OCC materials, free on the Samaritan’s Purse website. Never hurts to validate your request with official information.
How many shoeboxes will you need this year?
- For shipping?
- For sorting?
- For storing?
* More Posts About Shoeboxes
- Beginning the Shoebox Adventure
- Our First Shoebox Leftovers
- Storing and Sorting Operation Christmas Child Purchases
- Storing Operation Christmas Child Purchases: The Ah Ha Moment!
- OCC Wish List: Shoebox Shelves
- Why Year-Round Storage Space for Operation Christmas Child Makes Sense