Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign helps children in need

WELLINGTON COUNTY – This year’s Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection season is underway.

Individuals, families, churches, businesses, sports teams and community groups are now packing shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items, plus personal notes and photos, to be delivered to children in need around the world.

Operation Christmas Child is an annual initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization that works in more than 100 countries.

Last year, Canadians filled more than 415,000 shoeboxes with gifts for struggling children in West Africa, Central America, Ukraine and Philippines.

“In a world weighed down with inflation and the effects of war, children need joy more than ever,” officials stated in a press release.

Thanks to the items that Canadians put in their shoeboxes, and the $10-per-box they donate to cover shipping and other program costs, Samaritan’s Purse is able to deliver the boxes to children around the world living with poverty, disease, war and natural disasters.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed more than 200 million shoebox gifts in more than 100 countries.

“Struggling children and families need hope,” said Kendra Shields, director of Operation Christmas Child.

“Every shoebox gift is an opportunity for a child to learn that he or she matters to Canadians and, most importantly, matters to God.

“That’s why I want everyone to help as many children in need as possible by packing shoeboxes.”

National Shoebox Collection Week is Nov. 13 to 19. Each gift-filled shoebox packed, donated and delivered to one of hundreds of drop-off locations throughout Canada by Nov. 19 will make a long journey into the arms of a child in need.

Canadians can also pack boxes online at PackABox.ca.

Locations in the area for drop off include: Hanover Missionary Church, Parkwood Gardens Church in Guelph, Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Acton, Living Waters Book and Toy in Elmira and Broadway Church in Orangeville.

To find the location closest to you, visit samaritanspurse.ca/drop-off-locations/ and type in your postal code.

Visit SamaritansPurse.ca for more information.