• Reporter Elaina John

COVID-19 Poses Greater Need For Operation Christmas Child Donations

Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has been bringing hope and opportunity to children in need through the Operation Christmas Child Program.

“Due to COVID-19, there is a great need for shoeboxes,” commented a local Operation Christmas Child volunteer.

In this program, donors fill a shoebox with shoes, hygiene items, school supplies, clothing, toys, and the like, and the shoeboxes are collected at designated locations to be shipped to children in need. Each year, Samaritan’s Purse determines where the shoeboxes go based on need. The shoeboxes go to countries undergoing or recovering from natural disasters, political unrest, war, or great poverty.

“There always should be school supplies,” added the volunteer, “it’s also nice if you add a picture of yourself or a little note.”

Operation Christmas Child volunteers often report that despite how excited children are about the contents of the shoebox, oftentimes the first thing they look at is the picture or note that the donor packed. These personal additions seem to be particularly impactful and encouraging.

Many donors begin shopping for shoebox items as early as January, and shopping in year-round sales such as back-to-school, can optimize the amount one is able to give. Shoebox packing and shipping is also done year round if there is dire need for them.

The shoeboxes are labelled to target specific age and gender groups, and the age groups are 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14. These labels can also be used as a guide for shopping with specific demographics in mind.

On OperationChristmasChild.ca, donors can find a list of commonly packed items as well as a list of things not to pack. Generally, toys relating to war, candy, and liquids are not accepted, nor are used items.

Various churches and some businesses in Vermilion participate in Operation Christmas Child. Those interested in donating can find shoeboxes as well as labels at participating churches and at the Dollar Store. Boxes can also be packed online for $40 at OperationChistmasChild.ca.

The deadline for donating shoeboxes is November 15, and donors can drop off the shoeboxes at participating churches, or at 4906 49 Ave, the Parkview Alliance Church Downtown office.


Dedication of shoeboxes in 2019. Photo Submitted

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