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