Scenes from distribution of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes in developing countries. You can pick up, fill, and drop off shoeboxes this week. Filled shoeboxes can be dropped off at Celebration Ford (where there will be a draw for gift cards for people bringing in shoeboxes) or at  Moosomin Baptist Church. Organizers are expecting about 850 shoeboxes to be donated in Moosomin this year.

Collection this week for Operation Christmas Child

November 15, 2017 10:00 am
Kevin Weedmark

This is the week to return your shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.

If you haven’t picked up a shoebox to fill for needy children, there’s still time to pick up a box, fill it with items and return it to be shipped on to needy children in developing countries.

Shoeboxes can be picked up at Moosomin Baptist Church, Celebration Ford, Your Dollar Store with More, or Hub Insurance in Moosomin.Shoeboxes can be returned to the Baptist Church or to Celebration Ford.

To encourage people to participate, Celebration Ford is offering entry in a draw for a gift card package for everyone who brings in a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child to the dealership.

Trying to make a difference
Tyler Thorn of Celebration Ford said the dealership became involved three years ago to try to make a difference.

“Gloria and I went online to their site because we were going to do a shoebox, and we wanted to see what kind of things we should put in it.
“We watched a couple of videos on the website, and it was so incredible how excited those kids got about those shoeboxes. They were so excited and so appreciative to get things that we just take for granted.

“I thought that makes such a diference in those kids’ lives, and that’s something we should be involved in as much as we can.”
People can pick up shoeboxes at Celebration Ford, fill them and drop them off by the end of the week.

“We have a draw for a few gift cards just as a little incentive to encourage people to bring one in,” said Thorn.

He said he hopes Celebration’s efforts make a difference. “Hopefully it brightens a few kids’ days,” he said.

850 boxes expected
Nicky Van Deventer is organizing the local drive for Operation Christmas Child this year. She is expecting about 850 boxes to be filled in the Moosomin area.

Moosomin is the collection centre for the surrounding area, and many churches in surrounding communities put together a lot of shoeboxes.

“Some churches do a lot,” said Deventer. “The church in Whitewood came and picked up 250 boxes for their church. I think 115 went to Wawota, so that is great. Then you get the individuals that take two or three shoeboxes and fill them with their kids.”

Boxes are usually filled with a toy, art materials, books, socks, tooth brushes, and hair items for girls.

Each box can be packed for a girl or a boy, by age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14.

Deventer says she has a lot of help with the project. “I’ve got volunteers within the church and so many people in the community helping me during collection week, just volunteering to sit and collect the boxes for me,” she said.

Those who contribute the boxes are usually very happy to help, she said.

“People generally seem very excited about it,” she said. “Some people can’t seem to wait for the boxes to arrive. For a lot of people, it’s something they have been doing for many years with their kids, teaching them about giving. And there are a lot of people like me that are new to this that never realized that there is something like that. I think it goes both ways. There are people who have been doing this for years and new people that learn about it and are happy to contribute and give.”

Why is the program so popular in the Moosomin area?

“I think personally people here have very open and giving hearts,” said Deventer. “They care about these kinds of things. Most of us are in privileged positions living here, and so I think for them it is about giving and making a difference in kids’ lives. I think it is very rewarding to people that they are actually giving to kids who are really in need, and they know that what they give makes a difference.”

Deventer said she is happy people are so willing to help with the project.

“There are a lot of people from the community that are willing to sit here for a couple of hours to collect the boxes. You would never be able to do it without the volunteers and people that are willing to help.”

Why did Deventer volunteer to be part of the project? “I was very involved with it last year just helping and the lady that was in charge but who has stepped out of it. My passion is with kids. Everything that I do in the church or the community is always with kids.

“This makes a very big difference in a kid’s life—receiving a shoe box and sharing God with them. It is not just the shoebox—as soon as they receive that they have weekly little sessions for the kids that they can go to. They are exposed to something they wouldn’t have otherwise.

“For me, I can do something in my community that goes outside of Canada and it affects the kids in such a positive way.”

Shoeboxes can be dropped off at Moosomin Baptist Church Monday to Friday from 9 am-12 pm and 1-3 pm, and Saturday 10 am-3 pm.