Shoeboxes for Those in Need
Beausejour Community Church gears up for annual holiday campaign.
Written by Dianne Hamill, this article originally appeared in The Clipper Newspaper
While the Christmas season is still months away, and no one is anxious to see the return of Old Man Winter, one Beausejour church is hoping to inspire some holiday spirit a little early this year.
On Oct. 26, Beausejour Community Church will begin its second annual shoebox campaign in support of the Operation Christmas Child. Organized by the Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child distributes shoeboxes filled with hygiene items, school supplies, small toys and candy to needy children around the world. Often the only gift a child has or will ever receive, the charity has delivered over 100 million shoeboxes to children around the world since its inception in 1990.
In 2013, Canadians filled over 664,000 shoeboxes – including over 150 from Beausejour and area residents. “It was fantastic,” Vivian Jackson, coordinator of the shoebox campaign at the Beausejour Community Church, said about the reaction to the 2013 project. A long time supporter of the campaign herself, Jackson led the charge to bring to project back to Beausejour last year. “God wanted me to do it,” Jackson said about her need revitalize the campaign.
Hoping to fill 200 shoeboxes this year, Jackson said for those who receive the box it’s about much more than just the gifts inside. “The kids who receive the boxes also have hope and the opportunity to receive the gospel.” With a long list of supplies to choose from including everything from soap to stickers, families are encouraged to work together to fill the shoeboxes. Donors are also encouraged to write a short note to the recipient letting them know someone cares about them. A $7 donation, included in the box, is also required to help cover shipping costs.
Shoeboxes will be available at the Beausejour Community Church, 748 Park Avenue, beginning Oct. 26. Please call ahead to ensure someone will be on site. Filled boxes must be received by Nov. 23. Boxes can also be filled and purchased online at http://www.samaritanspurse.ca. More information on Operation Christmas Child, including videos of the boxes being distributed to children and ideas about what items to include, can also be found on the site.
This year Canadian donations to Operation Christmas Child will be delivered to 13 countries around the world. Boxes from Western Canada will be distributed to eight countries including Haiti, Sierra Leone and El Salvador.