Linda Fornwald with some of the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes that are coming in for children in need around the world.

Linda Fornwald with some of the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes that are coming in for children in need around the world.

Gift-filled shoeboxes cheer children in need around the world

There are two ways to help support the Operation Christmas Child program this year.

There are two ways to help support the Operation Christmas Child program this year.

People can take the traditional route of filling a shoebox with gifts for a child in need or they can pack their shoebox donation online, or perhaps do both.

A program of Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child is a hands-on project that allows individuals and groups to help bring joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world, through gift-filled shoeboxes.

In Williams Lake Operation Christmas Child is spearheaded by volunteers at Cariboo Bethel Church.

“Last year we had almost 500 boxes donated. It was wonderful,” says Linda Fornwald, one of the program organizers.

She says one woman who wishes to remain anonymous filled 50 shoeboxes.

Worldwide almost 10 million gift-filled shoeboxes were collected worldwide.

People can pick up the distinctive pre-made shoeboxes at the church on Western Avenue along with a brochure outlining the program and what types of items to put in the shoe boxes.

People can choose to pack the box for a boy or a girl (age groups 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14).

Regular shoe boxes can also be used but the box and lid must be gift-wrapped separately to allow for inspection.

The boxes should be filled with a well-balanced variety of school supplies, toys, and hygiene products as well as a personal note and photo if you wish.

Suggested items include pens, pencils, pencil crayons, note pads, picture books, facecloth, toothbrush, comb, soap (in a sealed bag), loose individually wrapped hard candy.

Toys might include stuffed animals, small musical instruments, hair clips, toy jewellery, T-shirts, socks, wrapped hard candy.

The box should not include any food items or anything that could break, leak, melt, or scare and harm a child.

Operation Christmas Child also requests a donation of $7 with each shoebox donated to help cover the cost of administration, training volunteers, warehousing and shipping the boxes.

Fornwald says the boxes collected in Williams Lake will go to a central warehouse in Canada where each box is checked to make sure the items in the boxes are appropriate before they are sent on to the receiving countries.

Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes also opens the doors for Samaritan’s Purse to provide children, families and communities with access to clean water, food, clothing, shelter, medical assistance and more.

The deadline for filling the shoeboxes is coming up Friday, Nov. 21 coinciding with the CaribooBethel Church’s annual Ten Thousand Villages fair trade sale.

People who may not have time to shop for and pack a shoebox or who may wish to donate more shoeboxes than they have time to fill, may do so on line at samaritanspurse.ca/shoebox.

Samaritan’s Purse has been providing humanitarian aid in 100 countries around the world for more than 35 years.

This work encompasses the provision of safe water, food, clothing, shelter, medical assistance, and educational resources.

Samaritan’s Purse works to meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine, regardless of race, religion, or gender.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

The Williams Lake Trail Riders Arena is slated to have a new roof installed this spring after funding from the province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Trail Riders Arena, stable stalls, to get new roof at Stampede Grounds

Some of the stalls currently aren’t able to be rented out due to leaks in the roof

A sign is seen this past summer outside Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in First Nation completes second round of vaccinations

A total of 26 people have since recovered from COVID-19 after having tested positive

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Most Read