This year’s Christmas Child Shoebox Program kicked off in September with thousands of empty shoeboxes going out all over South Bruce.
Two short months later, the boxes returned 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 were brought in to Port Elgin Shoreline Baptist Church, which is the collection center for 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 occurred.
Organizer Joyce Scammell expressed her thanks to 98 the Beach, the Salvation Army Thrift Store, Square Deal Neil’s, TD Bank and many others that opened their doors to Operation Christmas Child. “We also want to thank U-haul who not only picked up our avalanche of boxes but also took them to Woodstock or Guelph warehouse to be sorted and packed for their long journey to children throughout the world.”
Operation Christmas Child is a program run by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organization headed by Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham. This year is the 25th Anniversary and, since 1993, 100 million shoeboxes have brought a message of hope to children who have been ravaged by famine, poverty, natural disasters, war or disease.