There is no feeling better than seeing a child’s face light up with uncontainable joy. Operation Christmas Child (OCC), an annual project of Samaritan’s Purse, has succeeded in creating more than 80 million smiles in 138 countries.
Samaritan’s Purse is an international humanitarian aid organization. It focuses on providing basic needs such as clean water, medical care, educational assistance, and disaster relief around the world. Being sensitive to the requirements of the people and the local culture is imperative. OCC delivers shoeboxes full of hygiene items, school supplies and toys to children in developing countries. Canada is one of 11 countries that participate in collecting shoeboxes and last year Powell River residents generously donated 689.
Trudy Anderson, local project coordinator, and Jill Buckley recently travelled from Powell River to Uruguay to hand out the shoeboxes. They saw first hand how OCC organizes the necessary indigenous wisdom and available resources to meet the changing needs of people.
Shoeboxes are now available at three local businesses: Your Dollar Store with More in Crossroads Village Shopping Centre, LW Liquidation World, and at Valley Building Supplies in Paradise Valley as well as churches throughout the community. Texada Transfer has volunteered to deliver the shoeboxes to Courtenay this year. From there they will be shipped to the main warehouse in Calgary.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this project again for the sixth year running,” said Eve Camenzind, owner and operator of Your Dollar Store with More, “and to offer customers discounted shoebox items such as toothbrushes, soap, notepads, pencils, and the usual toys that light up a child’s face.”
Spreading the joy of Christmas OCC style is simple: pick up a shoebox at one of the above locations; choose the age of either a boy or girl to receive the shoebox; and fill it with items they could use. A list of suggested items is available at www.samaritanpurse.org. Some families include handmade cards and a photo with address. Also, $7 needs to be included with the shoebox to cover shipping costs. Shoeboxes can be dropped off at Your Dollar Store with More and Valley Building Supplies before Saturday, November 12 or at participating churches before Sunday, November 20.
For more information on how to get involved, interested readers can call Anderson at 604.485.5345 or Buckley at 604.483.3796.