The Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection season has begun.
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 Canadians 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 615,000 shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and hygiene items. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed almost 157-million shoebox gifts around the globe.
Kamloops area residents have annually donated more than 2,000 gift-filled shoeboxes.
Boxes can be picked up or dropped off at the B.C. Wildlife Park in east Kamloops, Big Steel Box (1284 Salish Rd.), Flight Centre (410-1210 Summit Dr.), Gord’s Appliance and Mattress Centre (948 Tranquille Rd.), Hub International Insurance (299 Third Ave.), Smith GM (950 Notre Dame Dr.) or the Printing Place (552 Tranquille Rd.) during regular business hours until noon on Friday, Nov. 16.
Kamloops Alliance Church, at 200 Leigh Rd., is the collection centre locally. The centre will
be open on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and Thursday, Nov. 15, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from Friday, Nov. 16, to Sunday, Nov. 18, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment.
After the shoebox gifts are collected, they will be sent to Calgary to be inspected and prepared for hand-delivery to children worldwide, using whatever transportation method necessary — sea containers, trucks, trains, airplanes, helicopters, boats, elephants and even dog sleds.