Red Deerians packed 2,225 gift-filled shoe boxes for the 2022 Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child campaign.
In Alberta, a total of 88,717 shoe boxes — an 11 per cent increase from 2021 — went out to children in Ukraine, the Philippines, Central America, and western Africa.
Across Canada, 415,072 shoe boxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and many other items were packed.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of Canadians. These gift-filled shoe boxes are a tangible expression of God’s love and will provide joy and hope to children, many of whom have never received a gift before,” said Kendra Shields, director of Operation Christmas Child, in a statement.
The charity says thousands of Canadians are taking advantage of Operation Christmas Child’s internet option that enables them to pack shoe boxes year-round at PackaBox.ca. Canadians can choose shoe box gift items while also uploading personal notes and photos.
World wide nearly 10.6 million boxes were collected in 2022, and Samaritan’s Purse collected its milestone 200 millionth shoe box, which was hand-delivered to a young girl in Ukraine.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and hand-delivered shoe boxes to children in over 170 countries hurt by war, poverty, natural disaster, disease, and famine.