New Life Church is again partnering with Samaritan’s Purse to be the official distribution and collection centre for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Campaign, which kicked off Oct. 10.
Last year the Cowichan Valley packed nearly 2,500 boxes and this year the goal is to double that number.
“We hope to attain the goal by asking people to think about children in foreign countries who are deprived of decent housing, playgrounds, schools and possibly even parents.” said retired Pastor David Saunders. “For these children, receiving a box can give them a sense of joy, hope and knowledge that someone cares.”
Last year generous Canadians sent over 730,000 boxes to 13 different countries.
“The boxes are given as unconditional gifts regardless of a child’s race, religion or gender. When they are given, they often open the doors for Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization, to work with the local community leaders in identifying and addressing other needs, such as clean water, literacy and vocational training for women, school meals for children,” said Saunders.
This year the Christmas Shoebox campaign runs until Nov. 19 and with shoebox drop-off at New Life Church. During this time boxes can be picked up at many local retailers, including Cowichan Sound & Cellular, Duncan Mall center court, The Dollar Tree Store and most local churches. There will be kids and parents from New Life distributing boxes on Oct. 15 at Walmart from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., and at Winners and Real Canadian Super Store on Saturday, Oct. 22, 29, and again on Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. There will also be boxes available from Shawnigan Alliance Church and the 49th Parallel grocery store in Chemainus.
“It’s a great activity for parents and grandchildren to do together,” said Shannon Williams, whose children look forward to filling the boxes with gifts each year. Williams, director of Kidzone at New Life, is inviting all children to return their boxes on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. and to stay enjoy a movie and popcorn at the church. “We know the children will be excited returning their boxes and we’d like to invite them to stay and celebrate.”
Marita Rosenlind, Logistics Coordinator of OCC, is encouraging businesses to consider supporting the shoebox campaign by challenging all their friends and co-workers to pack a box for a child in need. She is ready to deliver posters and boxes to work places or organizations. Call 250-748-6521 ext. 222 or for further information go to www.newlifechurch.ca