Support appears to be rebounding for Operation Christmas Child, a program that has people sending gift filled shoe boxes to children in other countries.
Many of the red and green shoe boxes which were stacked by the hundreds in local businesses and church lobby’s these past 4 weeks, have now been filled with specially chosen items for boys and girls in developing countries around the world and are on their way to the Calgary Processing Centre for Samaritan's Purse.
Operation Christmas Child asks individuals to fill a shoe box for a boy or girl with items from school supplies to hygiene items to toys, clothes and shoes.
Over the past few days shoe boxes from across Western Manitoba were taken to the regional depot in Brandon, loaded onto a semi and trucked to Calgary. “This was a great program this year and we’ve had great support from the community and donations were up by seven per cent. We had 2,978 boxes donated this year and that brings us almost back to pre-pandemic levels which is great to see,” said area coordinator Katie Buhler.
Buhler notes places like Glenboro had a strong response with more than 360 shoe boxes being filled and turned into the depot.
“The boxes will end up with children in nine different countries. They include South American countries, West Africa, The Philippines and Ukraine. Lots of different children will benefit from the program this year.”
Organizers attribute the stronger response to dedicated community members and people setting high goals this year.
“It’s rewarding to see community coming together and we had our first project leaders' workshop that we’ve had in a couple of years in Brandon. We have new people involved so yes, it’s definitely rewarding,” said Buhler.
You can still put together an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox. Go to the Samaritan's Purse website.