By Sulz, Dave on January 25, 2020.
Canadians helped in sharing the Christmas spirit with children overseas through the 2019 edition of Operation Christmas Child.
In Canada, 490,471 shoeboxes were packed with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and many other items as part of the annual shoebox campaign conducted by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief and development organization. Those boxes – including 12,098 packed online at PackaBox.ca – were part of a worldwide total of 10,569,405 collected in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Australia and New Zealand. In Lethbridge, 4,722 were contributed to the campaign, and Alberta residents in total packed 105,864 shoeboxes, second only to Ontario.
Distribution of the shoeboxes in the developing world has begun and, during the next few weeks, children in Central America and western Africa will be receiving shoeboxes packed by caring Canadians.
“We are extremely thankful to Canadians, many of whom are unemployed or facing significant economic uncertainty, for their generosity in continuing to support this vital program year after year,” Randy Crosson, director of Operation Christmas Child Canada, said in a news release.
“Each shoebox that someone fills is an opportunity to show hurting children that they are loved by God and by us, and the gifts Canadians have provided will once again bless children – many of whom have never before received a present.”
Where it is culturally appropriate, all children who receive a shoebox are invited to attend The Greatest Journey, Samaritan’s Purse’s 12-lesson evangelism and discipleship program. Since 2010, more than nine million children have decided to become Christians through The Greatest Journey.
Thousands of Canadians are taking advantage of Operation Christmas Child’s internet option that enables them to pack shoeboxes all year round at PackaBox.ca. Canadians can choose shoebox gift items while also uploading personal notes and photos.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and hand-delivered more than 177 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 130 countries hurt by war, poverty, natural disaster, disease, and famine.
For more information, visit SamaritansPurse.ca.