Albertans can support children in need this holiday season, by packing gift-filled shoeboxes online through the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child program.
Donors who are interested in packing a gift-filled shoebox online for children living in poverty, war, or natural disasters, can choose if they want to send a boy or girl gift, the age range, and based on their choices, Samaritan’s Purse will pack appropriate gift items into each box.
Furthermore, donors can choose to personalize their gift box by uploading a photo and note.
“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,” an Operation Christmas Child media release said.
“Children who receive shoebox gifts cherish each item inside, but they treasure the notes and photos, just knowing who sent them that shoebox means the world to them,” acting director of Operation Christmas Child Kendra Shields said.
In 2021, Canadians filled nearly 28,000 shoeboxes online.
Each year, Albertans are encouraged to pack and fill shoeboxes during the National Shoebox Collection Week in November. Last year, more than 413,000 shoeboxes were shared with children in West Africa and Central America.
“Each box was an opportunity to let children in the developing world know that Canadians haven’t forgotten about them,” the release said. “As the world struggles to recover from the economic effects of COVID-19, children in these regions, plus those in war-torn Ukraine, will receive Canadian shoeboxes, need joy more than ever.”
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed nearly 200 million shoebox gifts in more than 100 countries.
In addition to distributing shoebox gifts to children in need through Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse also provides safe water, vocational skills, agricultural supplies and training to families in the developing world, the release said.
“It seems the world’s greatest need over the past few years has been hope,” Shields said. “This is the essence of Operation Christmas Child. Every shoebox gift is an opportunity for a child to learn that he or she matters to Canadians. That’s why I urge everyone to help as many children in need as possible by packing shoeboxes.”
Gift shoeboxes can be dropped off at the Calgary processing centre, at 20 Hopewell Way NE, until Dec. 10, or be packed online anytime, at https://packabox.samaritanspurse.ca/.