HANOVER – Shoeboxes packed in Wellington, Bruce, Grey, Perth, Dufferin and Huron counties are arriving in countries overseas.
The Hanover Operation Christmas Child (OCC) team was delighted recently as thank-yous began arriving from children in many countries who have received shoeboxes packed locally with items such as small toys and school items.
Once boxes from local churches, groups, schools and individuals are packed and brought to the drop off at the Hanover Missionary Church during the second week in November, they are organized into cartons and trucked to Mississauga.
They are then loaded onto trains for shipment to Calgary, where trained volunteers check shoeboxes to make sure all liquids, food, money, breakable, used or damaged items are removed before shipments are compiled for each receiving country.
Last year shoeboxes from Canada were sent to Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica in Central America; West Africa (Senegal, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia) plus Ukraine and the Philippines.
Anne Hahn, a local OCC Connect Volunteer, has helped to distribute shoebox gifts in Uruguay, Costa Rica, Senegal and The Gambia. “It is so gratifying to hear that our gifts have arrived into the hands of boys and girls,” she said.
Below are three of the messages received.
Greetings from The Gambia, West Africa.
I’m a missionary for the church of the Nazarene originally I’m from Sierra Leone. I’m the father of Inglyn, whom you sent the gift to.
Our family is beyond excited to meet new people and make new decision in the journey of our lord Jesus Christ.
As a family we want to use this opportunity to thank and appreciate all of you so dearly.
You guys bring the greatest smile on my daughter’s face.
Dear Canadian friends
Thanks very much for the beautiful gift. My grandson Andrew was lucky to have it, he is really enjoying the items in the shoe box. He is very excited to get back to you all I am excited too. Thank you so much we really appreciate your effort of bringing joy to our family. I hope you are all doing well.
Stay blessed, we love you all. Feel free to ask me any questions. Hope to hear from you soon.
Lots of love, Mamie (I live in the Gambia West Africa )
Good afternoon, the reason for writing is to thank you for the gift box, you have made my girl very happy, everyone has enjoyed the things that the box brought. Many blessings. May God keep you and continue doing these precious work. We live in Nicaragua in the city of Boaco. Saludos.
Children who receive Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts look for a letter and photo of the folks who packed the box. Including an email address makes it easier for a recipient to reach out to send a thank you. Hahn has witnessed children digging for these notes in their gift boxes.
“The kids want to see who would send them such a beautiful gift which their parents could never afford,” she said.
“When you pack a simple gift for a child, suffering to survive in our world, you brighten the hearts of whole families and that joy spreads out into entire communities,” states a press release from the local Operation Christmas Child team.