Operation Christmas Child works its magic

Tubes of toothpaste are no included in the shoeboxes filled with Christmas goodies received by kids in poor countries every year.

Barb Gustafson

Tubes of toothpaste are no included in the shoeboxes filled with Christmas goodies received by kids in poor countries every year.

That’s because the little ones are so hungry, they eat the toothpaste rather than brush their teeth.

Instead, it’s just the bare necessities, a brush and comb, hygiene supplies, a few toys and school supplies, that brightens a poor kid’s life for the rest of the year, if not the rest of his or her childhood.

“Generally, they only get one box in their lifetime. So this may the only present they ever get,” said Barb Gustafson, in charge of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows branch of Operation Christmas Child.

“For them, it’s such a treasure.”

That word can be used literally because while one child may only receive one shoebox in his or her childhood, 95 per cent of the kids in such countries never even receive a gift box.

The boxes also contain a greeting card from the donors, but no candy, which customs rules prohibit.

The charity held its national collection week in November and now local organizations are sending the boxes into Calgary for shipment overseas to either Nepal, Haiti, or Ukraine.

This year, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows donors sent 4,203 shoeboxes abroad.

“This is a record for Ridge Meadows and I am humbled at the generosity and kindness shown by so many people, churches, organizations, business and hockey teams,” Gustafson said.

Last year, Canadians provided 700,000 gift shoeboxes around the world.

“They are not delivered by Christmas, unfortunately.

“The goal is to have the box in the hands of kids by the end of February.”

Operation Christmas Child is run by the Samaritan’s Purse International Relief agency.

 

Just Posted

Heavy police presence after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

On Cooking: Yes, I eat meat

I recognize the fact that we as people are not all the same.

Sports announced for Maple Ridge 2020 BC Summer Games

18 events will attract almost 3000 young athletes

Untrending: A good place to start my search

Facebook offers a legacy service.

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Vancouver Police look for man in connection to ‘sexually motivated’ assault

Woman says man followed her into an apartment building

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read