The local Operation Christmas Child collection drive is over, and thanks to the generosity of residents and businesses in the Comox Valley and Powell River more than 1,700 little red shoeboxes will be winging their way to suffering children in the developing world.
Kara Walsh, logistics co-ordinator for the local campaign, is happy to report that 1,391 shoeboxes were collected in the Comox Valley and 335 in Powell River, for a grand total of 1,726 – a significant increase from last year’s total of 1,400.
Although the local campaign is over, Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes may still be packed online at https://packabox.samaritanspurse.ca
The shoeboxes were delivered to a collection point in Nanaimo thanks to John Rogers, proprietor of John’s Bedroom Barn in Courtenay, who donated his time (and a truck) to pick them up in communities from Campbell River to Duncan – including a side trip to Port Alberni. From Nanaimo, the shoeboxes travelled to a warehouse in Calgary, where they will be checked and prepared for distribution overseas. This year, Canadian shoeboxes will be shared with children in Central America, West Africa, and Ukraine. In 2017, Canadians donated more than 600,000 shoeboxes.
Every year millions of shoebox gifts are filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and articles of clothing by concerned people in Canada and nine other countries. Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief and development organization, collects and distributes them in 100 countries to children suffering as a result of war, poverty, famine, disease, and disaster. Each shoebox is given regardless of a child’s gender, race, or religion.