Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child: Pack a shoe­box to help chil­dren across the world

Moose Jaw Express.com - - Front Page - Sasha-Gay Lob­ban

Sa­mar­i­tan’s Purse, the Chris­tian re­lief and de­vel­op­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion will be hav­ing their Na­tional Col­lec­tion Week on Novem­ber 12-18 where they will be col­lect­ing shoe­boxes filled with trea­sures to do­nate all over the world through their Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child pro­gram (OCC). Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child is a hands-on project that brings joy and hope to chil­dren in des­per­ate si­t­u­a­tions around the world through gift-filled shoe­boxes packed by Cana­di­ans. Sa­mar­i­tan’s Purse says this is one way to re­mind chil­dren suf­fer­ing be­cause of war, poverty, famine, disease, and dis­as­ter that they are loved and not for­got­ten. Each year, mil­lions of shoe­boxes are packed with gifts by peo­ple in Canada and nine other “send­ing” coun­tries and given to chil­dren in more than 100 “re­ceiv­ing” coun­tries. Last year, Moose Jaw packed over 1800 shoe­boxes to do­nate to chil­dren in some of th­ese coun­tries. Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child vol­un­teers in Moose Jaw are hop­ing to col­lect and pack hun­dreds of shoe­boxes again this year. Con­nect OCC vol­un­teer Mary Ellen Wil­lis says vol­un­teers work all year to pro­mote this pro­gram and col­lect shoe­boxes. Wil­lis hopes to pack as many boxes as pos­si­ble be­cause each one will make an im­pact and bring hope. “We packed about 1800 boxes and shipped to Cal­gary last year. Canada-wide, over 700,000 were packed and sent to dif­fer­ent coun­tries; Ukraine, Cen­tral and Latin Amer­ica, parts of Africa, Philip­pines, Haiti and more. I’ve been to Costa Rica and Ecuador to dis­trib­ute shoe­boxes and the re­cep­tion has been awe-in­spir­ing and I hope to visit even more coun­tries on this ini­tia­tive. Ev­ery box is im­por­tant.”

What can be in a shoe­box?

Some of the items that can be packed in a shoe­box box are: A “wow” item: you can start with a medium or large item that will cap­ture a child’s at­ten­tion when he or she opens it. This can be a doll, soc­cer ball, stuffed an­i­mals etc.; toys; school sup­plies: pen­cils, sharp­en­ers, crayons, mark­ers, note­books, col­or­ing and pic­ture books; non-liq­uid hy­giene items like tooth­brushes, bar soap, combs and wash­cloths; ac­ces­sories like t-shirts, socks, hats, sun­glasses, hair clips, jew­elry, watches, flash­lights with ex­tra bat­ter­ies and more; crafts: you can make your own items like friend­ship bracelets. You can also add a per­sonal note and a photo of your­self, fam­ily or group and you can also make a do­na­tion of $10.

DO NOT IN­CLUDE: Candy; tooth­paste; used or dam­aged items; war-re­lated items such as toy guns, knives, or mil­i­tary fig­ures; choco­late or food; fruit rolls or other fruit snacks; drink mixes (pow­dered or liq­uid); liq­uids or lo­tions; med­i­ca­tions or vi­ta­mins; break­able items such as snow globes or glass con­tain­ers; aerosol cans.

OCC shoe­boxes can be pur­chased at the church (Vic­tory Church), Wal­mart, Dol­lar Store, Su­per­store. Shoe­boxes can be dropped off at Moose Jaw Al­liance Church at 9th Av­enue & Thatcher Drive NW or Moose Jaw Vic­tory Church at 637 Main St N. Per­sons can also phone to have their boxes picked up by Mary Allen Wil­lis at 306.693.4861. Pack­ing day will be on Fri­day, Novem­ber 2 (come and go) at 5pm-10pm at the Moose Jaw Vic­tory Church. Sa­mar­i­tan’s Purse is a Chris­tian re­lief and de­vel­op­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion that takes its name from Je­sus Christ’s story in the Bi­ble of the Good Sa­mar­i­tan. Ev­ery year, Sa­mar­i­tan’s Purse have their an­nual Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child Pro­gram that col­lects gift­filled shoe­boxes from caring donors and distributes them to strug­gling kids in the de­vel­op­ing world. The pro­gram has brought joy and a pow­er­ful mes­sage of hope to over 135 mil­lion chil­dren so far.

Some items that can pack a shoe­box.

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