This year’s Christmas Child Shoebox Program kicked off in September with thousands of empty shoeboxes delivered throughout Southern Bruce County to be filled with messages of hope and love to children in desperate circumstances who may have never received a gift in their entire lives.
All the filled shoeboxes from Allenford, Hepworth, Kincardine, Paisley, Port Elgin, Ripley, Southampton, Tara, Teeswater, Tiverton and all places in between will then be brought to Port Elgin Shoreline Baptist Church, which is the collection center for the South Bruce area.
This year, given the world conditions, more packed boxes, increased donated shoebox items and shipping costs as well as packing on-line are needed.
Operation Christmas Child is a program run by Samaritan’s Purse, a non-denominational Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham. Since 1993, more than 100 million shoeboxes have brought a message of hope to children who have been ravaged by famine, poverty, natural disasters, war or disease.
Boxes are still available at Turtle Crossing, 98 the Beach, Shoreline Baptist Church, Missionary Church, and Salvation Army Thrift Store and of course you can pack on Line.
Each box should be packed for either a boy or girl and should be age appropriate.
Suggestions are: a stuffed toy, doll, soccer ball with pump, a fun toy, hygiene items, school supplies such as crayons or a hand-calculator, an item of clothing.
Items that cannot be included are: toothpaste, used or damaged items, candy, gum, war-related toys, seeds, food, liquids or lotions, medicines or vitamins and anything that is breakable.
For more suggestions, visit www.SamaritansPurse.ca/OCC . It is also recommended to donate $10 to help with shipping costs.
During National Collection Week, November 16 – 22, nearly 400 drop-off locations will be open across Canada to receive your shoebox gifts. In Bruce County, the drop-off centre is Shoreline Baptist Church at 910 Goderich Street in Port Elgin.