Canadians bless children in Haiti through convenient "online shoe boxes"

Operation Christmas Child's web-based feature accommodates last-minute donations, with most boxes destined for children in Haiti

CALGARY, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - The 2011 Operation Christmas Child shoe box collection season has ended, but thousands of Canadians are still making the most of Operation Christmas Child's "online shoe box" feature that lets them pack and send gift-filled shoe boxes to the developing world from their homes.

The convenient feature means although the deadline has passed for Canadians to drop off shoe boxes at churches, businesses and other collection centers, they can still send gifts of hope and love to hurting children around the world by going to www.samaritanspurse.ca/shoebox and donating gift-filled shoe boxes for $30 plus $7 for shipping and other project-related costs, for each box. Shoe boxes donated online will be delivered to the children of Haiti as part of a 75,000 shoe box commitment from Canada to that nation.

Canadians who choose Operation Christmas Child's online option begin by deciding whether they want their box to go to a boy or girl. Next, they choose from three age ranges: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Based on those choices, a standard group of items are added to the box. Then the donor can select from among several additional items, and futher personalize the gift by adding a photo and note.

"The opportunity to upload a photo and include a personal message to the child who will receive the box really adds special meaning for the giver and the recipient," said Ben Silcox of Samaritan's Purse. Nearly 4,000 gift-filled boxes were donated via the Internet during the 2010 shoe box season.

Last year, Canadians filled 640,714 Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes with gifts for children in the developing world. This year, Canadians coast to coast have held kick-off gatherings, fundraisers, packing parties, community drives, and special events with the goal of using the power of a simple gift to share God's love with children and to change lives.

Shoe box gifts are just one part of Samaritan's Purse's efforts to help hurting children and their families in Haiti. Since the earthquake in January 2010, Samaritan's Purse has provided food, safe water, health and hygiene training, rubble removal, and medical care, while building nearly 20,000 family shelters. Learn more at www.samaritanspurse.ca.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has been a vital project of Samaritan's Purse - a Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.

The shoe box is just the beginning, because Operation Christmas Child is creating opportunities for Samaritan's Purse to provide other help to children, their families, and their communities through safe drinking water, literacy and job skills initiatives, feeding programs, medical care, and more.

SOURCE Samaritan's Purse Canada

For further information:

To arrange an interview with a local, national, or international representative of Operation Christmas Child, to obtain information about a shoe box event or story idea in your area, or for more information about online shoe boxes, please contact:

Carla Bregani, Communications Advisor
Samaritan's Purse Canada
cbregani@samaritan.ca or 1.800.303.1269


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