Canada’s 2021 Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection season has started. 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 373,000 shoeboxes – 800 from the Sunshine Coast – with gifts for struggling children in West Africa and Central America.
“When packing a shoebox, you can choose whether it’s a boy or girl, as well as their age,” Sunshine Coast coordinator Martha Schroth said. Empty red and green boxes can be picked up at Gibsons Building Supplies (both locations), IGA (both locations), Dollar Tree, area churches, and the local collection centre, Calvary Baptist Church, 711 Park Rd. in Gibsons, or you can call Schroth at 604-886-8545 if you need boxes or have questions.
Filled boxes can be dropped off at GBS, IGA or Calvary Baptist, and Schroth asks donors to return them as quickly as possible to enable her to pack them into cartons by the national deadline of Nov. 15-21.
“Thank you again to everyone who participates in this project by filling boxes, sorting items, making items to go into the boxes, donating supplies or donating toward the shipping cost of $10 per box,” Schroth said. “This is a team effort, and you are making a difference by expressing your love and care for children for whom this may be their first gift ever. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message of hope, and continue to transform the lives of children worldwide.”
To learn more, visit samaritanspurse.ca/occ.