KAWARTHA LAKES-Canada’s 2021 Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection season starts today. 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 with gifts for struggling children in West Africa and Central America. Officials say as the world continues to deal with COVID-19, children need joy more than ever.
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.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed more than 187 million shoebox gifts in over 100 countries.
“We know what the pandemic has done to our country; now consider children around the world,” said Randy Crosson, director of Operation Christmas Child. “Simple gifts, offered with God’s love, can change lives forever. Please be part of the journey young ones will experience starting the day they receive your gift.”
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, meeting children’s nutritional needs, etc.
National Shoebox Collection Week is Nov. 15-21: Each gift-filled shoebox packed, donated, and delivered to one of hundreds of drop-off locations throughout Canada by Nov. 21 will make a long journey into the arms of a child in need. Visit the COVID-19 updates page to stay informed and find answers to frequently asked questions. Another great option is to pack boxes online at PackABox.ca.