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Operation Christmas Child Calls on Canadians to Shop and Pack
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The Canada-wide 2013 Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection season–an annual initiative of Samaritan's Purse Canada–starts today as thousands of individuals, families, churches, businesses, sports teams, and community groups begin packing shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and hygiene items, plus personal notes and photos.

Samaritan's Purse will deliver the gift-filled shoeboxes to children around the world living in the midst of poverty, disease, war, and natural disaster. Last year, Canadians filled more than 662,000 shoeboxes with gifts that shared God's love and hope with children in the developing world. And since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed more than 100 million shoebox gifts across the globe.

"We are asking Canadians from coast to coast to join us again this year in packing and donating gift-filled shoeboxes," said Fred Weiss, executive director of Samaritan’s Purse Canada. "There are millions of needy children still waiting to receive a shoebox, which is often the first gift they’ll ever have. Please join us in bringing good news and great joy to children around the world."

National Shoebox Collection Week is Nov. 18-24: Each gift-filled shoebox packed, donated, and delivered to one of hundreds of collection centers throughout Canada by Nov. 24 will make a long journey into the arms of a needy child in Haiti, South or Central America, or West Africa.

The shoebox is just the beginning: for two decades, Operation Christmas Child has been a vital project of Samaritan’s Purse. The Christian relief and development organization provides physical and spiritual aid to hurting people worldwide. Gift-filled shoeboxes open doors for Samaritan's Purse to provide other help to children, their families, and their communities in the form of clean water, literacy and job skills initiatives, feeding programs, medical care, and more.

For more information on Operation Christmas Child in this area, please contact West Park Church (955 Gainsborough Rd. - phone 519 471-7460 or the Salvation Army Citadel at 380 Elm St in St Thomas. Email sastthomas@bellnet.ca or call 519 631-6202.

There is also a lot more information available at www.SamaritansPurse.ca/OCC.






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