Moose Jaw packs over 1,800 boxes for Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child (OCC)

Moose Jaw Express.com - - News -

Proverbs 11:24

One Christ­mas we re­ceived a

Christ­mas gift from my brother and wife in a mail en­ve­lope.

It looked like a Christ­mas card but was much more. On our be­half, they made a dona­tion to World Vi­sion for chick­ens to be gifted in a third world coun­try; a gift that would con­tinue to give…

We live in such an af­flu­ent so­ci­ety that, for most of us, we have more than enough in all as­pects of ma­te­rial wealth. Do we re­ally need more stuff?

We were re­ally blessed that they had a heart for the less for­tu­nate and used their fi­nan­cial wealth to bless some­one else in our name at Christ­mas time. That is the true mean­ing of Christ­mas! Giv­ing to those who are un­able to give back – no strings at­tached. This brought great joy to my heart!

I’m not sure we would have the same re­sponse to wak­ing up on Christ­mas Day to chick­ens peck­ing around the house, but for many around the world, this gift means food - eggs on their plate for many months to come. A chicken can lay up to 250 eggs per year.

In the World Vi­sion cat­a­logue, there are many gifts to choose from, like goats, pigs or chick­ens, ac­cess to clean wa­ter, and ed­u­ca­tion sup­plies. An al­paca can pro­duce up to 5 ki­los of wool an­nu­ally over a 15-20 year span; a cow can pro­duce up to 20 glasses of milk daily, as well can pro­vide in­come to a house­hold and could also breed a herd of calves over a life­time; and a bee­keeper who would be equipped with a kit and hives could pro­duce up to 50 ki­los of honey in a year to sell or trade. Beau­ti­ful hand-crafted gifts are also avail­able and will help sup­port ar­ti­sans around the world and are unique gifts to put un­der the tree. These gifts will con­tinue to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of chil­dren well af­ter the Christ­mas sea­son is done.

If this is some­thing you would like to con­sider, visit world­vi­sion.ca/gifts for more in­for­ma­tion.

On a lo­cal vein, we don’t have to look far to see need in our own com­mu­nity. There are many less for­tu­nate that would greatly ap­pre­ci­ate gen­eros­ity at Christ­mas and there is no bet­ter char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion to do­nate to than the Sal­va­tion Army. Presently, the Moose Jaw Ex­press is ac­cept­ing fi­nan­cial do­na­tions to the Sal­va­tion Army in the Stock­ing Fund. All you have to do is drop by the of­fice and make your cheque out to the Sal­va­tion Army in the amount you would like to do­nate. You will re­ceive a tax re­ceipt and your name will also be men­tioned in the Ex­press as a con­trib­u­tor to the Sal­va­tion Army Stock­ing Fund this Christ­mas. As well, the Sal­va­tion Army Ket­tle Cam­paign is now un­der­way so give gen­er­ously as your heart leads you; ev­ery lit­tle bit helps! It has been a record year for Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child (OCC) in Moose Jaw. The com­mu­nity came to­gether to pack and do­nate 1,850 shoe­boxes filled with gifts to send to chil­dren in dif­fer­ent parts of the world, through the Sa­mar­i­tans Purse’s Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child pro­gram.

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 as a re­sult 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. Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child vol­un­teers in Moose Jaw were able to pack up the boxes and send them onto the col­lec­tion ware­house in Cal­gary. From there they are dis­trib­uted to var­i­ous coun­tries to reach the chil­dren, bring­ing joy and hap­pi­ness to their hearts. OCC vol­un­teer Mary Ellen Wil­lis says vol­un­teers work all year long to pro­mote this pro­gram and col­lect shoe­boxes. “We had an awe­some week with all kinds of groups and in­di­vid­u­als of all ages bring­ing in shoe­boxes of joy to the col­lec­tion cen­ter at the Al­liance Church in Moose Jaw. Gail Fen­wick col­lected, cleaned, san­i­tized and re­paired over 800 stuffed toys to be sent as fillers. These will be sent to Op­er­a­tion Christ­mas Child pro­cess­ing cen­ter in Cal­gary to help fill a less than full shoe­box. In fact, all our shoe­boxes now go to Cal­gary to the pro­cess­ing cen­ter to be checked and pro­cessed to go into ship­ping con­tain­ers be­fore they head off to one of the 100 coun­tries and into a child’s open arms,” said an ex­cited Wil­lis.

She said many vol­un­teers turned out to help this year, hav­ing record numbers of boxes packed. “There was a pack­ing party held at the Vic­tory Church on Novem­ber 2 and a large num­ber of the pack­ers from church as well as the com­mu­nity packed 737 shoe­boxes in three hours. This is a record breaker for them. Who knows how many chil­dren will be blessed in fu­ture pack­ing par­ties?” Wil­lis added. “There are al­ways a few late com­ing in and then there are the shoe­boxes that are packed on­line, so our grand to­tal will go even higher!”

She says a team of vol­un­teers will be head­ing to Cal­gary to as­sist in sort­ing boxes. “There is a team go­ing from Moose Jaw and area to the Cal­gary pro­cess­ing cen­ter to help sort the boxes on Novem­ber 28 to 30. If any­one wishes to come for an awe­some ad­ven­ture, please con­tact Mary Ellen at 306-6934861. There are a few spots open.” ________________________________________

Our Mayor, in an in­ter­view with a lo­cal me­dia on June 18-2018, said, among other things, that he wanted to ad­dress things like bet­ter en­gage­ment from res­i­dents be­cause he said res­i­dents have been push­ing back against items that City Hall has been try­ing to im­ple­ment in re­cent years like the LIP pro­gram, the curb-side re­cy­cling, and High St W.

This part of his in­ter­view is where I be­lieve our Mayor got out of or­der, so-to-speak. He should apol­o­gize to the 8000 tax­pay­ers who re­jected by vote the LIP pro­gram, and apol­o­gize to all those cit­i­zens with back lanes who didn’t want to move their garbage bin into our beau­ti­ful streets (and to those af­fected by High Street West road drama).

I will not get into all the good rea­sons why the great ma­jor­ity of the tax­pay­ers of this city re­jected those ideas pre­sented; many al­ready know them. For those who may not know about all the good rea­sons why the cit­i­zens have re­jected those ideas could learn about them by look­ing at the city coun­cil video archive of those times and find out why the ideas were re­jected.

The cit­i­zen, co-owner of a cor­po­ra­tion who stood up for what they wanted should be given an award for their wis­dom in­stead of be­ing judged neg­a­tively by our own Mayor.

I do ap­pre­ci­ate the Mayor for his de­sire to re­vi­tal­ize our City in many ways, but brand­ing our city has bad peo­ple push­ing back against what they don’t like. It may not be one of the 13 best way to care for the health of our com­mu­nity.

Best Re­gards. Michel Labonte

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