Children in Central America and western Africa have been opening shoeboxes filled with toys and other items thanks to generous folks in the Fraser Valley and beyond.
People in the Eastern Fraser Valley helped fill more than 6,500 shoeboxes as part of Operation Christmas Child, a campaign by Samaritan’s Purse Canada where the boxes are filled with toys, hygiene items, school supplies and many other items for children in need.
Canadians lovingly packed 413,875 shoeboxes during the 2021 campaign.
In total, British Columbians packed 53,789 shoeboxes. That number is up from 46,066 in 2020.
And in the Eastern Fraser Valley, 6,627 shoeboxes were filled. There were drop-off locations in Mission, Abbotsford and Chilliwack where 640, 3,145 and 2,842 boxes were collected, respectively.
Distribution of the shoeboxes around the world has already begun, Samaritan’s Purse Canada stated in a Feb. 3 press release.
During the next few weeks, children in Central America and western Africa will be receiving shoeboxes packed by Canadians and others around the globe. Worldwide, 10.5 million boxes were filled.
“In a year filled with uncertainty, we praise God for the opportunity to continue reaching children around the world with gift-filled shoeboxes that bring so much joy,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “These gifts provide a tangible expression of love and open doors for sharing the life-changing hope of Jesus Christ.”
Operation Christmas Child doesn’t just take place during the holiday season. Folks can donate and fill a shoebox online at any time of the year by going to www.PackaBox.ca.