Collection week for Operation Christmas Child

800 shoeboxes sent from Moosomin last year

November 19, 2019, 2:02 pm
Kevin Weedmark

Children receive shoeboxes through Operation Christmas Child.

Shoeboxes are being collected this week at Moosomin Baptist Church for Operation Christmas Child.
People can pick up a shoebox at Moosomin Baptist Church to fill with items for a girl or boy in a developing country.

The shoeboxes are delivered to people in need through Samaritan’s Purse.

Shoeboxes can be dropped off at the church any day this week, up to Friday, November 22.

The shoeboxes can be dropped off any day this week between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm. Moosomin Baptist Church is located at the south end of Main Street.

The boxes dropped off in Moosomin will be packed into larger boxes and a farmer from Miniota has volunteered to drive them to the distribution centre.

Nicki Vandeventer says about 800 shoeboxes were collected at Moosomin last year.

“I think it’s good for a little town,” she said. “We have people drop them off, we have families, we have churches bring them.

“There’s a church in Whitewood that brings a lot of boxes.

“There’s a group of ladies at Wawota that made dresses for all the little girls last year. As the people brought boxes back they were putting a dress as an extra thing in every box for a little girl. They made I think 100 dresses last year.

“Every year they get people in the community to come sew dresses or they make mitts or toques or something like that.

“Some people don’t want to pack a box but ask if they can bring just socks or whatever to add into the boxes. We had people drop off 50 toques that they’ve knitted.”

From Moosomin the boxes go to Calgary where they are checked to make sure they don’t contain any items that cannot be shipped.

Vandeventer said there are some items people should avoid in the boxes.

“People should stay away from liquids that could freeze or explode on the airplane when they are being shipped, or toys that could be traumatic to kids in certain countries.

“Toy guns might be fine here, but in a country where there’s a war or lots of gun violence, that could be traumatic for children. So they ask people not to put in anything that could be associated with violence. What our kids think is fun isn’t necessarily fun for them.

“Things to pack that are wonderful for little girls is clothing, little books, little toys, little teddy bears, underwear, socks, toothbrushes, notebooks, face cloths, soap—they can use those kind of things.

“Things to avoid would be some of the things that airlines don’t allow on carry-on, liquids and that kind of thing.”

Individual shoeboxes are packed for either a girl or a boy.

Vandeventer said all sorts of people fill the shoeboxes.

“It is a combination between churches, individuals, families. I have individuals that picked up boxes from the dollar store and they just dropped them off. There are families that do it with their kids as a tradition every year. I’ve noticed families that do it and some of the older ladies that like to make stuff and knit stuff.”
Boxes are available at Moosomin Baptist Church for anyone who wants to fill one.

What is Operation Christmas Child?
Operation Christmas Child is a hands-on way for Canadians to bless struggling children in the developing world by filling shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and other items. They collect the boxes and distribute them in the name of Jesus Christ to children living in desperate situations.

Operation Christmas Child is an important way to remind children suffering as a result of war, poverty, famine, disease, and disaster that they are loved and not forgotten. Each year, millions of shoeboxes are packed with gifts by people in Canada and nine other “sending” countries, and given to children in more than 100 “receiving” countries.

Began in 1990
Operation Christmas Child began in 1990 when Dave and Jill Cooke of Wales were watching a television report about Romanian orphans. They asked: “How can we provide some joy to the real victims—the children—who live in these situations day after day?”

Dave and Jill couldn’t stop the poverty, but they could offer something—the gift of love. Together, they filled a convoy of nine trucks with medical supplies, food, clothing, and Christmas gifts for children, then drove to Romania. It marked the start of what has become the world’s largest children’s Christmas program.

Samaritan’s Purse
As the number of donated shoeboxes grew year by year, Dave and Jill looked for a worthy organization to assume leadership of the program. In 1993, Franklin Graham, International President of Samaritan’s Purse, adopted Operation Christmas Child. Later that year, Samaritan’s Purse delivered its first gift-filled shoeboxes to children in war-torn Bosnia.

Since then, shoebox gifts have been delivered to more than 157 million children in over 130 countries. In 2018, Canadians donated 517,437 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Each shoebox is given regardless of a child’s gender, race, or religion.