The final numbers are in for the Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign for 2021. Lethbridge numbers came in at 2,335 and 80,121 Albertans completed their own shoeboxes. This is a seven per cent increase compared to 2020. Frank King, the news media relations manager for Samaritan’s Purse, made the trip down to El Salvador and said for a lot of the children, these are the first shoeboxes they have ever received.
“So the fact that they would have received this from people they’re probably never going to meet, in a country they may never have even heard of, is truly impactful. It’s a great way for them to understand and know that not only do people in Canada care about them, but there’s a God who knows about them, who sees them, and is doing something about their situation by offering them this hope. Again, sometimes for the first time in their lives. That’s the value of having all these Canadian-packed shoeboxes that we can now take and give to children in central America and French speaking west Africa.”
King says despite the continuing challenges posed by COVID-19, Canadians packed 413,875 shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and many other items during the 2021 Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign that recently ended. Which is an increase of more than 40,000 over 2020’s total.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and hand-delivered almost 200 million shoeboxes to children in over 170 countries.
King says when it is culturally appropriate, the team shares the good news of the gospel of Christ.