Amely Wolf with the pile of Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes filled by her family and friends.

Amely Wolf with the pile of Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes filled by her family and friends.

Operation Christmas Child dear to her heart

Operation Christmas Child is close to Sue Wolf’s heart.

Operation Christmas Child is close to Sue Wolf’s heart.

Sue grew up in East Germany where resources were scarce and churches were required to preach the communist doctrine.

As a child she remembers receiving a box of clothes, chocolate and other treats at Christmas time from residents in West Germany.

In a time and place where people had to line up to receive a banana, she says the box was a very special gift.

“I remember even keeping the wrappers on the Kleenex because the little packet opened and closed,” Sue says. “I would save my little treasures in the packet all year.”

Sue was 14 when the wall between West and East Germany came down in 1989 and she learned how people on the other side of the wall lived.

She became a nurse and worked in an operating room in West Germany where she met her husband Dr. Mike Wolf.

“He grew up completely differently from me,” Sue says. “He grew up in the free world on the west side of the wall where they could buy everything.”

Mike and Sue move to Switzerland for a few years, and then to Australia for a few years where they learned about the Operation Christmas Child program.

There she says they would have parties where people would get together to fill shoeboxes with little gifts for children in need around the world.

When Sue and her family moved to Canada five years ago they continued the tradition as a family with their children Amon, 19, Amely, 11, Johnny, 8, and Joseph, 6.

This year, rather than just filling their Operation Christmas Child boxes as a family, they decided to revive the community spirit they had enjoyed in Australia.

They invited neighbours, friends, and church friends to a pancake breakfast, cooked by Mike.

“Everyone was welcome to help us pack the boxes and bring joy to kids all over the planet,” Sue says.

All of the guests brought items for the gift boxes and after breakfast the group broke into teams to fill the boxes.

The adults filled the boxes for the teens and children filled boxes for their own age groups.

Each box was filled with a small toy, a T-shirt, a ball, crayons, notebook, stuffed toy, hair clips, hair brush and comb, tooth brush, headbands and other small items.

About 20 adults and children attended the event and filled 23 Operation Christmas Child boxes for children in need around the world.

They also put in a little something to let the children know the gift box is from Canada.

“This is the first year we have filled boxes in Canada with friends in a group,” Sue says.

“It was really fun and nice for the children because they knew their box would be going to a child in their same age group.”

She also likes the fact that Operation Christmas Child is Christian program.

Growing up in East Germany she said church services were restricted to preaching the communist ideology.

“I became a Christian, so for me it is very important for people to find out about Jesus.”

She said their son Amon, who is now attending university in Prince George, met a boy from Mexico who received Operation Christmas Child boxes as a child and appreciated the gifts so much that he became a Christian.

“He told Amon that receiving the boxes was awesome and really made a difference in his life,” Sue says.


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

Just Posted

International Women’s Day is March 8. (
International Women’s Day 2021: #choosetochallenge

International Women’s Day is marked annually on March 8

Celebrate women in leadership, March 8, International Women’s Day 2021 (Unsplash)
EDITORIAL: International Women’s Day 2021 shines spotlight on achievements, ongoing inequities

COVID-19 increased gender-based violence, economic stress, the burden of care giving for women

Amarjit Khakh of Williams Lake. (Photo submitted)

Kindness and giving, key to full life

Sierra William (left) with her grandmother Eileen William. (Roger William photo)

Xeni Gwet’in woman finds strength in tradition

Cynthia English (Photo submitted)
INTERNATIONL WOMEN’S DAY 2021: Cynthia English

Cynthia English, 30, has been working in the logging industry for several years

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

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

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read