"A huge congratulations and thank you!  Your support is equipping children all over the world and sending a message to them that they are loved and treasured and valued, and it's connecting them to a community resource that they can rely on for support for themselves and their families. Thank you so much!"

This, from Katie Buhler, Area Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child for Brandon and Dauphin. Buhler oversees the team that equips project leaders across the Westman Region and manages the drop off locations in Brandon and Dauphin.

This year's count from both the Brandon and Dauphin drop-off sites reached 2887 Christmas Shoe Boxes. Buhler says this is down a bit from last year but notes that many who would typically bring their filled boxes to either of these locations instead brought them to Portage, Winnipeg or further north to the Saskatchewan drop off locations.

"We're still so excited to have this number of children that we can really relay these numbers to that are going to be impacted by shoe boxes," shares Buhler.

Buhler says they saw incredible support from many churches, but the church that caught her attention was in Neepawa.  "There's one church in particular that brought in 500 shoe boxes from their church, where someone who attends their church had actually received a shoe box as a child and was so excited to support this ministry!"

"Glenboro also has a huge turnout every year and they increased their numbers from last year as well, reaching close to 500 shoe boxes! I know Glenboro does collect from outside their community from surrounding towns as well, including Holland and some of the smaller towns. But it's just great support!"

"It's really exciting to see all the communities be so passionate about this!"

Please listen to more with Katie Buhler below, and if you were interested in purchasing a Christmas shoe box online, visit Samaritan's Purse website, or click HERE!

From Brandon the shoe boxes are shipped to Calgary's distribution center and then the Canadian boxes are shipped out to ten countries around the world, including Ukraine, The Philippines, Senegal, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua.  

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