Children in other countries will be all smiles around Christmas due in part to students from Jack Kemp Community School.

The school took part in Operation Christmas Child, a non-profit project run by Samaritan’s Purse. On Wednesday, shoeboxes filled with toys, school supplies and other gifts were collected to be sent to less-fortunate areas around the world.

Denise Block, a student services member at Jack Kemp, says students will learn that something small can make a big difference to someone.

“It gives them a chance to understand what other kids go through. We talk a lot about how we have way more than we think we do and other students don’t have the same offerings in other countries.”

The school has taken part in the event for the past 16 years to help students promote generosity towards others. Jayden, a student at Jack Kemp, says taking part in the event is fun and fulfilling knowing that the generosity will be appreciated.

“I feel really happy. It’s really sad that some people don’t get presents but it makes me really happy that they get presents from us in a shoebox.”

Students part of the Serving Our Society (SOS) team gathered up the donations from classrooms throughout Jack Kemp. Block believes the students who led the charge will receive a more personal, long-lasting experience.

“This is a chance for them to develop those leadership skills and feel like they have an impact. I can’t take the whole school to volunteer but I can take some students that can make a difference.”

For families in Lloydminster, shoe boxes can be picked up and dropped off at Southridge Community Church, Your Dollar Store With More, Spiro’s, Silverwood Toyota and Safeway.

The collection date for the shoeboxes will be between November 18 to 23. Last year, 2800 shoeboxes were filled by families from Lloydminster and surrounding areas and sent to children in other countries.

Nationally, over 600 thousand boxes have been sent to children worldwide.