Shoebox campaign tops 2012 (February 1, 2014)

Written by Dave Sulz

Published by The Lethbridge Herald on Saturday, February 1, 2014

Canadians were even more generous in contributing to the 2013 Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign than they had been the previous year.

They donated 664,066 shoeboxes packed with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies during the 2013 campaign – an increase of almost 2,000 from the 2012 total.

Operation Christmas Child is a program of international Christian relief and development organization Samaritan’s Purse Canada. Operation Christmas Child staff, volunteers, and partners are now distributing the 2013 shoeboxes to children in the developing world. During the next few weeks, children in Haiti, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Paraguay, Guatemala, and Venezuela will be receiving shoeboxes packed by caring Canadians.

“Once again, tens of thousands of Canadians have blessed the lives of children in the developing world by packing shoeboxes for them,” Randy Crosson, director of Operation Christmas Child Canada, said in a news release.

“Each shoebox is an opportunity to show these children – many of whom have never before received a personal gift – that they are loved by God and by generous Canadians from coast to coast.”

More than 4,000 shoeboxes were packed online, as Canadians took advantage of Operation Christmas Child’s option that enables anyone visiting to choose shoebox gift items, write a personal note, add a photo, and make a donation.

This online option is available year-round for those who for health reasons, scheduling challenges, or limited access to transportation aren’t able to shop for gifts and pack shoeboxes in the traditional way.

Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has collected and hand-delivered more than 100 million shoebox gifts to children in over 130 countries hurt by war, poverty, natural disaster, disease, and famine. Shoe box distributions often open doors for Samaritan’s Purse, in consultation with local community leaders, to identify and meet other needs such as safe water, sustainable food production, and/or vocational training.

For more information and to make a donation, visit the Samaritan’s Purse website.