Operation Christmas Child is set to collect donations without a hitch for children in need around the world.
“This is an operation filled with love, hope and joy sent to a child living in desperate poverty in areas where there’s been war, and everything has been taken away, or those that have lived through a natural disaster like a typhoon or a hurricane around on earth earthquake,” said Lloydminster organizer Ruby Trudel.
Every year residents fill shoeboxes with items such as toys, school supplies and health and hygiene products for children in other countries.
There are five categories of items placed into the boxes after being arranged through age group, from two to 15 years old, and gender.
Last year, 2,562 boxes were collected from Lloydminster and surrounding areas and sent to children in other countries.
“We hear stories all the time from adults who were recipients as children of shoe boxes. It is just amazing how a box of very simple items to us will mean so much to a child. ”
Trudel said operations won’t look too different compared to the previous 25 years of the Samaritans Purse initiative.
The volunteers will be wearing gloves and masks as a precaution while organizing donations once they get dropped off at the end of the month.
“Other than that, people may be hesitant to go out to the stores to do their shopping, but they always have the option of packing a shoebox online through Operation Christmas Child Canada website.”
Participants are asked to remove the packaging on all donate items as well as not donating any liquids, candy, anything breakable or toys representing war. These rules have been requested from the recipient countries.
Once residents fill up and drop off the shoeboxes, they will go to Southridge Church to by sorted then processed in Calgary before being shipped off.
The shoeboxes can be dropped off at Safeway, Silverwood Toyota, Spiro’s Restaurant, or Southridge Community Church before the collection date week between November 16 to 21.
Minus Safeway, boxes will be available at three of the four drop off locations as well as Walkn on Water, and Dollar store with More.
There are 12 different countries that send out shoeboxes every year to 102 recipient countries who requested Samaritan’s Purse help.