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  • Albertans are encouraged to support children through Operation Christmas Child gifts this holiday season

    Shoeboxes can be filled with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies

    Albertans are encouraged to support children through Operation Christmas Child gifts this holiday season pic 1
    Until Dec. 9, Albertans are invited to fill shoeboxes full of toys, hygiene items, and school supplies, for children in Central America and French-speaking West Africa through the Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift program.

    Albertans are invited to support children in need with Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts.

    Since 1993, Canadians have packed shoeboxes full of toys, hygiene items, and school supplies, for children in Central America and French-speaking West Africa. Volunteers receive the shoeboxes and invite children and their families to distribution events.

    “We always love to see toys, hygiene items, and school supplies. The latter is particularly welcome because even in countries where primary education is free, children must often bring their own supplies. For some families, that alone means their children will not receive an education,” said News Media Relations Manager of Samaritan’s Purse Canada, Frank King.

    The Operation Christmas Child ShoeboxNational Collection Week was Nov. 15 through to Nov. 21. However, shoeboxes can be dropped off until Dec. 9, at drop-off locations. 

    “Even as we slowly move past the pandemic, life continues to be an endless struggle for many children and families in the developing world—especially as they don’t have the same access to vaccines. That’s why it’s important to offer these children hope—that people in Canada haven’t forgotten about them and,” King said.

    Adding, “For some children, an Operation Christmas Child shoebox from Canada will be the very first gift they will ever have received.”

    In the past, King added, that Operation Christmas Child has been blessed by the generosity of Albertans, as every year Alberta is among the top three shoebox-packing provinces in Canada.

    “We are very grateful,” King said.

    Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and health restrictions, Operation Christmas Child did receive fewer shoeboxes, however, Albertans were able to pack shoeboxes online. 

    Despite the pandemic, Canadians filled more than 373,000 shoeboxes for children in West Africa and Central America. 

    “As the world continues to deal with COVID-19, children need joy more than ever,” King said.

    “Thanks to all the items that Canadians lovingly put in their shoeboxes, and the $10-per-box they donate to cover shipping and other program costs, Samaritan’s Purse is able to deliver the boxes to children around the world living in the midst of poverty, disease, war, and natural disaster,” he said.

    “We know what the pandemic has done to our country; now consider children around the world. Simple gifts can change lives forever. Please be part of the journey young ones will experience starting the day they receive your gift,”

    said Randy Crosson, Director of Operation Christmas Child. 

    Shoeboxes are given as unconditional gifts, and they often open doors for Samaritan’s Purse to work with community leaders in identifying and addressing important needs such as clean water, literacy, vocational training for women, and meeting children’s nutritional needs. 

    Shoeboxes can be packed year-round at www.PackaBox.ca.

    For more information on what to pack, and what not to pack, visit,

    www.SamaritansPurse.ca/OCC.

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