by Peter Ivay
A huge “Thank-You!” to all those who are familiar with Operation Christmas Child and have packed shoe boxes full of toys, school supplies, hygiene items and clothing items to children in areas of the world affected by war, natural disaster and famine. Although simple gift-filled shoe boxes seems such a small thing, children are so surprised that someone would care enough to send them presents! Can you imagine a child in Canada who has never received a gift of any kind? This is the case in many locations where shoe boxes are sent.
Samaritan’s Purse, a faith-based organization which oversees Operation Christmas Child, works with our government and other aid organizations in providing food, shelter, crisis intervention, clean water, medical support and sustainable livelihoods. Much of this work comes as a result of Operation Christmas Child! Details of these projects can be found at
In 2016, Canadians sent 664,525 gift-filled shoe boxes to children in more than ten developing nations, with contents for children in the 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14 year-old age category. In Canada alone, there are 700 year-round volunteers who work with this project. Equally important are the trained overseas teams that distribute the gift-filled shoe boxes and follow up with children who receive shoe boxes.
This year, if you wish to participate in Operation Christmas Child, you can pick up shoe boxes and brochures at: The Dollar Tree, The Municipal Centre, the Fire Department, KBC/Rona, U-Haul, or any of the following churches: St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, North Grenville Community Church, Kemptville Christian Reformed Church, or Kemptville Pentecostal Church.
It is very important to follow the directions on the brochure. Packed shoe boxes are inspected by Customs, and some items are not permitted. Select the age and gender of the recipient. Mark the labels. Attach the label to the box. (You may use plastic boxes).
Carefully choose items from the list of acceptable gifts. Include a $10.00 cheque to cover shipping costs for each shoe box, or you can make one cheque for all the shoe boxes you are packing. Put two elastics around each box. Take your packed shoe boxes to any of the above “Drop-Off” locations before November 12, or take them to Kemptville Pentecostal Church during “National Collection Week”, November 12-18.
There are so many wonderful stories on our website of children whose lives have been impacted by shoe box gifts. Please join us by packing shoe boxes and praying that once again God will make a difference in kids’ lives!