Operation Christmas Child’s annual shoebox campaign is starting up in the Comox Valley for the 2020 Christmas season.
“We want to spread the word that, yes, Operation Christmas Child is happening this year and yes, folks can pack shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies and drop them off at the collection site at Comox Pentecostal Church as usual,” said Jacqui Graham, OCC area co-ordinator for the Comox Valley.
Samaritan’s Purse, the non-profit organization that distributes the shoeboxes to struggling children in the developing world, has been working with communities and churches across Canada to ensure that all protocols are in place for safe shoebox distribution and collection.
Graham says you can also virtually fill a shoebox through the “Pack A Box” option on the Operation Christmas Child website. Donors specify the gender and age range of a child and select items from the online store. Samaritan’s Purse will pack the box and send it off.
For those wanting to participate in the Comox Valley, the little red and green shoeboxes are at John’s Independent Grocers in Comox, Quality Foods in Courtenay and Comox, and John’s Bedroom Barn and Your Dollar Store With More in Courtenay. Fill them with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies, then drop them off at the collection centre at Comox Pentecostal Church during National Collection Week, the third week in November. To learn how to fill a shoebox or “Pack A Box” online, plus the local drop-off location, dates and hours, go to https://www.samaritanspurse.ca/pack-a-shoebox/
See the Facebook group “Operation Christmas Child Comox Valley” for the latest OCC, both locally and around the globe.
Once the shoeboxes leave the Comox Valley they are shipped to the national processing centre in Calgary, where every shoebox packed in Canada is inspected and prepared for travel to its destination country. Last year, nearly half a million shoeboxes went to children in more than 100 countries.