Children in Senegal open Operation Christmas Child boxes in December 2019. The boxes were some of the 490,000 that Canadians sent overseas this year. (FRANK KING PHOTO)

Port Alberni packs 500 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes in 2019

Worldwide distribution begins for annual humanitarian aid campaign

Port Alberni residents donated nearly 500 filled shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child this year, says Frank King of Samaritan’s Purse Canada.

This total was 22 percent more than the number of boxes that came out of the community in 2018, he said, thanking residents for their generosity. King visited the Republic of Senegal, near the coast of west Africa, to distribute boxes.

Canadians packed a total of 490,471 shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and many other items during the 2019 Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign.

Distribution of the shoeboxes in the developing world has already begun. During the next few weeks, children in Central America and western Africa will be receiving shoeboxes packed by caring Canadians.

The 490,471 boxes donated in 2019—including 12,098 packed online at PackaBox.ca—were part of a worldwide total of 10,569,405 collected in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Australia, and New Zealand.

“We are extremely thankful to Canadians, many of whom are unemployed or facing significant economic uncertainty, for their generosity in continuing to support this vital program year after year,” said Randy Crosson, director of Operation Christmas Child Canada. The shoebox campaign is run by Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization.

“Each shoebox that someone fills is an opportunity to show hurting children that they are loved by God and by us, and the gifts Canadians have provided will once again bless children—many of whom have never before received a present.”

Shoeboxes don’t have to just be a Christmas service project, King noted. “Port Alberni residents can still pack shoeboxes for children in need. Just visit www.PackaBox.ca and do it online.”

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