Comox Valley resident Dolores Vander Maaten displays the gifts she chose to delight a little girl in a faraway country. Photo supplied

Deadline looming for Comox Valley’s Operation Christmas Child initiative

There’s still time to fill a Shoebox gift for a child overseas!

A toothbrush. A soccer ball. A pair of socks. A box of crayons. A cuddly toy. These simple items make a world of difference to children living in the midst of poverty, disease, war, and natural disaster – but the deadline to bring a smile to the face of a child is Sat., Nov. 20.

It’s easy to do. Just fill an Operation Christmas Child shoebox with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. Then drop it off at the Comox Valley OCC collection centre at Comox Pentecostal Church, 1919 Guthrie Road, Comox on Thursday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., or Friday, Nov. 19 from 3-7 p.m.

There is a virtual option available as well, at

With this option, participants choose the items and can follow the progress of their shoebox gift to its destination.

Shoeboxes and info brochures are available at Quality Foods in Courtenay and Comox, John’s The Independent Grocer in Comox, and Your Dollar Store With More in Courtenay. (Regular shoeboxes may also be used.) Instructions on packing a box can be found on the aforementioned Samaritan’s Purse Canada website.

Join the Operation Christmas Child in the Comox Valley Facebook group to share ideas, watch videos, and learn more about OCC and Samaritan’s Purse.

Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is an annual initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization that works in more than 100 countries. Last year, Canadians filled more than 373,000 shoeboxes with gifts that shared love and hope with struggling children in West Africa and Central America. Each gift-filled shoebox makes a long journey to bring joy to a child in need – and as the world continues to deal with COVID-19, children need joy more than ever.

ALSO: Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop now open for the season

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