Residents may have noticed those green and red coloured shoeboxes at various locations in the City as the Operation Christmas Child campaign is on for another year.
The collection drive is a way to share the holiday spirit with children living in dire circumstances like countries affected by war and poverty.
Ruby Trudel the Drop off Leader in this area says the generosity that Canadians share has a tremendous impact in the lives of children over a long time.
“We hear many stories every year. This one is a little boy who got a box. He was probably about eight years old. he went through the box very quietly looking at each item. And when he towards the bottom of the box he found a toothbrush. He lifted his hand in the air holding the toothbrush and he yelled out to his mother,’Mama, Mama, Mama, we don’t have to share anymore.'”
Trudel says the contents of these shoeboxes show the children they are not forgotten.
“There are children all around the world that our shoeboxes touch every year and it brings those kids love and hope and so much joy. Every child is touched by a shoebox in a way that in North America we just can’t even imagine. The shoeboxes are being sent to the children that are living in desperate poverty. Areas of war. Areas that have experienced disaster after disaster.”
Operation Christmas Child which is run by Samaritan’s Purse Canada sends shoeboxes to countries in Central America, West Africa and places like Haiti.
Trudel says people can put things like hygiene items such as a brush, comb or toothbrush, soap, a washcloth. Things like school supplies. For toys, things like a ball, a soccer ball or skip rope, comfort or stuffed toys. She adds also to take the items out of the packaging.
She encourages people to send a letter with a picture of themselves and their family.
Trudel says they discourage liquids, candy, war toys and anything that’s breakable.
Shoeboxes are available at Sobey’s, Walkn’ On Water as well as several Lloydminster churches. The filled boxes can be returned at Safeway, Sobey’s, Spiro’s, Silverwood Toyota, Southridge Community Church and Walkn’ On Water. The collection week starts November 15th and closes November 20th.
More information on packing the shoebox and COVID safety protocols can be found on the Operation Christmas Child Canada website.