Share hope with children overseas through gift-filled shoe boxes this week

National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes runs from
November 21 - 27; Canadians set to bless hurting children overseas through the power of a simple gift

CALGARY, Nov. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - The 2011 Operation Christmas Child shoe box collection season reaches its pinnacle this week, as thousands of Canadians drop off their gift-filled shoe boxes to be sent overseas. Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week runs from Nov. 21 to 27 and designated collection centers across Canada are ready to receive shoe boxes packed with love.

The campaign kicked-off on October 11 and has seen volunteers and supporters across Canada hosting and attending shoe box packing parties, parades, fundraisers, school, church, and club-led initiatives, and even Operation Christmas Child-themed birthday parties. Families have been teaching their children the importance of generosity as they select shoe box gifts, and senior citizens have been packing shoe boxes as a way to give back as well.

Canadians participating in Operation Christmas Child have been choosing whether they want their shoe boxes to go to a boy or girl and picking one of the three age ranges: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. The boxes have then been filled with school supplies, hygiene items, toys, and candy, plus a $7 suggested donation for shipping and other project-related costs. Many donors have also included a note to the recipient child, and a photo of their family that the child will treasure.

"We've been holding onto our shoe boxes for a few weeks now, making sure each box has everything we can possibly squeeze into it," said Ben Silcox of Samaritan's Purse. "Now is the time to find our drop-off location and ensure our boxes are sent to a child who needs this gesture of hope and love."

It's not too late to pack a shoe box for this year. Visit samaritanspurse.ca/occ and click on the Collection Center locator map to enter your postal code and locate your drop-off point. You can also call 1-800-303- 1269 to find out this information.

Last year, Canadians filled 640,714 Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes with gifts destined for children in the developing world. This year, the organization's goal is 750,000 shoe boxes, with 75,000 of them going to Haiti, where recovery from the January 2010 earthquake and subsequent hurricanes and cholera outbreak continues.

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 Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes, please contact:

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


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