Shoe boxes provide gifts, hope

Christmas without a gift is almost unthinkable in Canada, but it’s an annual occurrence for many children in Third Word countries.

Christmas without a gift is almost unthinkable in Canada, but it’s an annual occurrence for many children in Third Word countries.

Operation Christmas Child delivers gift-filled shoe boxes to children around the world living in the midst of poverty, disease, war, and natural disaster.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has been a vital project of Samaritan’s Purse – a Christian relief and development organization providing physical and spiritual aid to hurting people around the world.

Last year, Canadians filled 640,714 shoe boxes with gifts for children in the developing world. This year, the goal is for more than 750,000 boxes.

The News Bulletin is again a pick-up and drop-off depot for the boxes that contain information on what to include and how to pack them.

Supplies can also be obtained at The Buzz Coffee house on Uplands Drive, the Christian Book Store on Estevan Road and the First Baptist Church on Waddington Road.

Donors are asked to mark the outside of the boxes whether it is for a boy or girl in age categories two-four years, five-nine years, 10-14 years.

Suggested items include school supplies, small gifts, stuffed animals, hair clips, toy jewelry, T-shirts and socks, tooth brushes, soap, combs and wash cloths.

Please include a donation of $7 for each box to help with shipping costs.

Nanaimo’s shoebox collection week is Nov. 23-26.

As part of Samaritan’s Purse’s rebuilding efforts in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and subsequent hurricanes and cholera outbreak, 70,000 shoe boxes in 2011 have been committed to the Caribbean country.

For information, please go to www.samaritanspurse.ca/Operation-Christmas-Child