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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Dewberry Community Church Spreads Joy With 20 Years Of Operation Christmas Child Support


Left side, Tanya Bowman, Matt Fletcher, Ethan Ross, (right side) Becky Smith, Cheryl Nawrot, Ann Adams in the Calgary Samaritan’s Purse warehouse. Photo credit Frank King

The holiday spirit is alive and well in the Dewberry area as the community once again shows the true meaning of giving. For two decades, a group of dedicated residents from Dewberry has been making the long journey of over 500 kilometers to Calgary, marking their 20th year participating in the heartwarming Operation Christmas Child Program at the Samaritan’s Purse processing center.

From December 6th to the 8th, Tanya Bowman, Matt Fletcher, Ethan Ross, Becky Smith, Cheryl Nawrot, and Ann Adams, all members of the Dewberry Community Church, immersed themselves in inspecting Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. These meticulously packed boxes are destined for Central America, West Africa, the Philippines, and Ukraine, aiming to bring joy to children who, in many cases, have never experienced the delight of receiving a gift.

Cheryl Nawrot, a dedicated 70-year-old volunteer, shared why she and her fellow church members embark on this 10-hour roundtrip every year. “We know what the results are: the lives of children and their families will be blessed and changed.” This year alone, the Dewberry Community Church contributed 137 shoeboxes, each filled with school supplies, hygiene items, and toys.

One distinctive touch Cheryl adds to every shoebox she packs is her email address. It’s a personal connection that yields heartwarming results. “It’s been wonderful making these connections,” she exclaimed with a smile.

Since its inception in 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has been illuminating the lives of children in need through its Operation Christmas Child Program. This initiative, cherished by many, provides hope and opportunity to children worldwide during the holiday season.

The magic of Operation Christmas Child lies in Samaritan’s Purse’s careful assessment of where these shoeboxes are needed the most each year. Whether in countries recovering from natural disasters, grappling with political unrest, torn apart by war, or suffering from great poverty, the program provides a lifeline to children in their darkest hours.

While toys and essentials are undoubtedly cherished, it’s the heartfelt notes and pictures from donors that often leave the most profound impact. These personal additions convey love and encouragement from across the globe, turning a simple shoebox into a vessel of compassion and connection.

As the Dewberry Community Church marks its 20th year of participation, their commitment to spreading joy beyond borders continues to inspire, embodying the true spirit of the holiday season.

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