Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows families, businesses, schools and churches are putting their gratitude in action and celebrating their blessings by giving back.
Through Operation Christmas Child, locals are joining tens of thousands of people across Canada to fill empty shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, hygiene items and a little hard candy (in zip lock bag) for impoverished children around the world, regardless of gender, race, or religion.
These gifts from local residents will be transported to needy children to El Salvador, Guatemala, Uruguay, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Haiti and Ukraine, using whatever means necessary—trains, airplanes, boats, elephants, bikes and even dog sleds—to get the shoeboxes into the hands of hurting kids.
Through the power of a simple gift and the message of hope, children learn they are loved and not forgotten.
Anyone can participate in Operation Christmas Child.
National collection week is Nov. 17–23 at Maple Ridge Baptist Church, (Lougheed Highway and 222nd Street). 10 a.m. top 4 p.m. each day.
• For more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, call 604-467-9794 or visit www.SamaritansPurse.ca/occ.
- Shoebox gifts can also be packed online at SamaritansPurse.ca/Shoebox.
- In Canada last year, 664,066 gift-filled shoeboxes were collected.
- Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts are also collected in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Finland, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, and the United States.
- Shoebox gifts are distributed in more than 100 countries, on six continents (all but Antarctica).
- In 2013, almost 10 million gift-filled shoeboxes were collected worldwide.
- Since 1993, more than 100 million Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes have been collected and distributed around the world.