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Upcoming bottle drive to help children in need at Christmas

Money raised will go to Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child
Xavier, 4, sorts tins for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child at a previous bottle drive. (Special to The News)

Christmas comes but once a year.

However, for many children around the world, Christmas does not come at all.

Volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse are trying to change that and will be holding a bottle drive to fund the organization’s Operation Christmas Child program – a program that provides Christmas presents to children in poor countries who would not otherwise receive a thing.

Every year the annual campaign sees thousands of shoeboxes filled locally with toys and school supplies that are then shipped to countries in Africa or South America.

Last year residents in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows packed 5,056 shoeboxes. Provincially 53,789 shoeboxes were packed and nationally 413,875, an increase of more than 40,000 boxes packed in 2020.

According to Samaritan’s Purse Canada, a Christian relief and development organization, Operation Christmas Child has collected and hand-delivered almost 200 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 170 countries hurt by war, poverty, natural disaster, disease, and famine, since 1993.

READ MORE: Once a child in a refugee camp, now a promoter of Operation Christmas Child

ALSO: Maple Ridge gives generously to Samaritan’s Purse bottle drive

Bottle drive organizer Barb Gustafson noted that the fundraising event is held at this time of the year in order to purchase school supplies while they are on sale.

Filled boxes for Operation Christmas Child will be collected from Nov. 14-20.

Refundable recyclables will be collected from 9-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, at Ridge Church, at the corner of 222 Street and Lougheed Highway, 22155 Lougheed Highway.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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