Central Albertans are invited to help make put smiles on children’s faces by joining in the 2022 Operation Christmas Child shoe box collection.
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 413,000 shoe boxes with gifts for struggling children in West Africa and Central America.
Organizers say as the world struggles to recover from the economic effects of COVID-19, children in those regions and war-torn Ukraine, will receive Canadian shoe boxes this year.
“It seems the world’s greatest need over the past few years has been hope. This is the essence of Operation Christmas Child,” said Kendra Shields, acting director of Operation Christmas Child in a statement.
“Every shoe box gift is an opportunity for a child to learn that he or she matters to Canadians and most importantly, matters to God. That’s why I urge everyone to help as many children in need as possible by packing shoe boxes.”
Organizers say that thanks to all the items that Canadians put in their shoe boxes, 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 almost 200 million shoe box gifts in more than 100 countries.
Shoe boxes from the Red Deer area can be dropped off at Crossroads Church (38105 Range Road 275, Red Deer County, Alberta T4S 2N4) from Nov. 14 to 19 on Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Canadians can also pack boxes online at PackABox.ca.