Rylin Kumpolt, 12, wheels in another load of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes being assembled at the Terrace Pentecostal Assembly Nov. 10. Organizers expect approximately 1,000 shoeboxes packed with items for children around the world will be leaving the northwest this month. (Staff photo)

Rylin Kumpolt, 12, wheels in another load of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes being assembled at the Terrace Pentecostal Assembly Nov. 10. Organizers expect approximately 1,000 shoeboxes packed with items for children around the world will be leaving the northwest this month. (Staff photo)

Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection hitting high gear

Locals filling shoeboxes for distribution around the world

Volunteers are busy this week organizing for next week’s collection of shoeboxes for the 2022 version of Operation Christmas Child.

Beginning Monday, Nov. 14 and until Friday, Nov. 18 local residents who have filled shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies and more are being asked to take them to the Terrace Pentecostal Assembly on Eby St.

Local Operation Christmas Child organizer Louise Freeman says more than 1,000 shoeboxes could be packed and readied for shipment by the time it’s all over.

“It’s not just Terrace. We get shoeboxes from all over — Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Hazelton,” she said.

Freeman and others have also been packing shoeboxes with items dropped off by people.

It’s not unusual for people to show up at the doorstep of another Operation Christmas Child organizer, Elaine Temple, with bags of items, Freeman added.

“We have a faithful group of people who come out for about two months, she said.

Also contributing are seniors who knit washclothes to go along with bars of soap.

“You can imagine these seniors are knitting up a storm,” said Freeman.

Toques are particularly welcome this year as some of the shoeboxes are destined for Ukraine where the Russian attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure is affecting the ability of Ukrainians to heat their homes.

Organized by Calgary-based Samaritan’s Purse, locals have been filling shoeboxes which are then sent around the world for nearly 15 years.

As in past years, Bandstra Transportation will once again ship the shoeboxes out of Terrace. Bandstra will ake the shipment as far as Prince George where Samaritan’s Purse will arrange for ongoing transportation to its Calgary processing centre.

People filling shoeboxes are also asked to provide $10 for shipping costs.

And if people don’t wish to contribute a physical shoebox, they can also provide one online.

More information about Operation Christmas Child is available via www.SamaritansPurse.ca/OCC.

Children in Ukraine, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Philippines, Guinea, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Bissau will be receiving the shoeboxes.

Operation Christmas Child is an annual initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization that works in more than 100 countries.

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