Operation Christmas Child is an annual initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization that works in more than 100 countries. (Submitted)

Operation Christmas Child is an annual initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization that works in more than 100 countries. (Submitted)

Chilliwack invited to bless children in need with Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts

National Collection Week is Nov. 18 to 24 and drop-off location is Chilliwack Alliance Church

Donations for Operation Christmas Child are being accepted this week at Chilliwack Alliance Church.

Canada’s 2019 Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection season began in October where thousands of individuals, families, churches, businesses, sports teams, and community groups pack shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items, plus personal notes and photos.

Operation Christmas Child is an annual initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization that works in more than 100 countries.

Thanks to all the items that Canadians lovingly put in their shoeboxes, and the $10-per-box they donate to cover shipping and other program costs, Samaritan’s Purse is able to deliver the boxes to children around the world living in the midst of poverty, disease, war, and natural disaster.

Last year, Canadians filled more than 517,000 shoeboxes with gifts that shared God’s love and hope with struggling children in West Africa and Central America. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed more than 167 million shoebox gifts in over 100 countries.

“Every shoebox packed by Canadians enables us to offer hope and joy to children in some of the most impoverished parts of the world,” said Randy Crosson, director of Operation Christmas Child. “Please consider packing just one more box to increase the impact you and Operation Christmas Child will have this season.”

Shoeboxes are given as unconditional gifts regardless of the child’s race, religion, or gender. When given, they often open doors for Samaritan’s Purse to work with community leaders in identifying and addressing important needs such as clean water, literacy, vocational training for women, school meals for children, etc.

The National Shoebox Collection Week is Nov. 18 to 24: Each gift-filled shoebox packed, donated, and delivered to one of hundreds of collection centers throughout Canada by Nov. 24 will make a long journey into the arms of a child in need. People can also pack boxes online at PackABox.ca.

Here in Chilliwack, folks can drop off shoeboxes, or clear plastic boxes filled with items to Chilliwack Alliance Church (8700 Young Rd.). Hours are: Nov. 19 to 21 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Nov. 22 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Nov. 23 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and Nov. 24 (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

To learn more, including suggestions concerning what to put in shoeboxes, visit SamaritansPurse.ca/OCC.