Gift-filled boxes part of Christian agency's ongoing aid to people fleeing ISIS militants
CALGARY, Dec. 9, 2014 /CNW/ - More than 5,000 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, packed by generous Canadians, are part of massive airlift of gift-filled shoeboxes departing from Baltimore, Maryland tomorrow (Wednesday) for child refugees in Northern Iraq.
The children left everything behind as they fled with surviving family members from violent ISIS militants who destroyed villages and kidnapped or murdered Christians and Muslims in their drive to control Iraq and Syria. Refugees have found relative safety in the northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan, where Samaritan's Purse and other relief organizations are helping them to survive in schools, tent camps, or unfinished buildings without heat.
"Many of these children, and whichever family members could escape with them, ran for their lives with nothing but the clothes on their back," said Samaritan's Purse Canada Executive Director Fred Weiss. "In the midst of a northern Iraq winter, they are facing a grim future. We want them to know through Operation Christmas Child that God still loves them and the people of Canada have not forgotten them."
There will be 60,000 shoeboxes—filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and more—on the special flight, which departs from Baltimore/Washington International Airport at 6:15 p.m. EST.
Randy Crosson, Operation Christmas Child's Canadian Director, will be at the airport for a send-off ceremony at 10 a.m. EST Wednesday, and available to be interviewed at 403-470-4295.
Operation Christmas Child is an annual project of Samaritan's Purse, which airlifted 80 tons of relief supplies to refugees in northern Iraq in late October. Tens of thousands of children and adults received winter coats and other clothing, blankets, and hygiene and kitchen kits.
Since that airlift, Samaritan's Purse has supplied winter coats to at least 19,000 more refugees, and given more than 22,000 blankets and 3,200 kerosene-fueled heaters to thousands of Christian, Yazidi, and Muslim families.
Canadians wishing to support Samaritan's Purse's emergency relief work in northern Iraq can donate by visiting SamaritansPurse.ca or calling 1-866-663-6500. The Christian organization also welcomes Canadians' prayers.
About Samaritan's Purse Canada
Samaritan's Purse is a Christian relief and development organization that takes its name from Jesus Christ's biblical story of the Good Samaritan. Like that Good Samaritan, who found a beaten man and helped restore him, we aid victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. Besides Operation Christmas Child, our initiatives include providing safe water, vocational skills, and agricultural supplies and training to families in the developing world. Learn more at SamaritansPurse.ca.
SOURCE: Samaritan's Purse Canada
For further information: Media Inquiries: Frank King, Communications Manager, 403-250-6565 (work) or 403-990-0161 (mobile) - [email protected]