Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, Canadians lovingly packed 373,188 shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and many other items during the 2020 Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign that recently ended.
In total, B.C. residents packed 46,066 shoeboxes for children in need. Prince George contributed 1,634.
Distribution of the shoeboxes around the world has already begun. During the next few weeks, children in Central America and western Africa will be receiving shoeboxes packed by caring Canadians.
The 373,188 boxes donated in 2020—including tens of thousands of boxes packed online at PackaBox.ca—were part of a worldwide total of 9,113,853 collected in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Australia, and New Zealand.
“Given the tremendous pandemic challenges all of us faced in 2020, we are extremely thankful to Canadians—many of whom are unemployed or facing economic uncertainty—for their generosity in continuing to support this program,” said Randy Crosson, director of Operation Christmas Child Canada.
“Each shoebox that someone fills is an opportunity to show hurting children that they are loved by God and by us, and the gifts Canadians have provided will once again bless children—many of whom have never before received a present.”
Many children who receive shoebox gifts will also enroll in Operation Christmas Child’s 12‑lesson discipleship program, The Greatest Journey. This program teaches children about God’s amazing love and guides them through what it means to follow Jesus Christ. Since 2009, more than 23 million children have participated in the program. Every child who graduates is given a New Testament in their language.
Thousands of Canadians are taking advantage of Operation Christmas Child’s internet option that enables them to pack shoeboxes all year round at PackaBox.ca. Canadians can choose shoebox gift items while also uploading personal notes and photos.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and hand-delivered more than 186 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 130 countries hurt by war, poverty, natural disaster, disease, and famine.
Samaritan’s Purse Canada:
Operation Christmas Child is a program of Samaritan’s Purse Canada, a Christian relief and development organization that takes its name from Jesus Christ’s biblical story of the Good Samaritan. Like that Good Samaritan, who found a beaten man and helped restore him, we aid victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. Besides Operation Christmas Child, our initiatives include providing safe water, vocational skills, and agricultural supplies and training to families in the developing world. Learn more at SamaritansPurse.ca.