Taking a break from all this election stuff, I received this press release last week about the charity Operation Christmas Child.
It is only mid October, but children and adults from Parkwood Gardens Community Church in Guelph are already preparing for Christmas. Parkwood Gardens Community Church is the Guelph depot for Operation Christmas Child, an initiative that provides shoe boxes filled with small gifts to children around the world mostly in hospitals, orphanages and refugee camps who would otherwise not receive any Christmas gifts. "Last year in Canada we shipped 640,569 shoeboxes with 2300 coming from Guelph. The total worldwide was 8.2 million boxes.", says Pastor Jim Tice. The boxes shipped from Canada are distributed primarily in 15-20 countries in Central and South America, West Africa, and the Caribbean. Each year, the list of specific countries that will receive a shipment of shoe boxes from Canada is finalized in late November.
The idea of giving a gift to someone in need was appealing to Tice's 7 year old daughter, Molly. "Last year Molly asked for her friends to give her a shoe box filled for a child, in lieu of a gift for herself.", says Tice. Molly states, "There are kids in need and and I thought of them. When they smile after getting those presents it gives me a warm spot in my heart. I have so much stuff and they don't have anything."
The boxes contain items such as school supplies, toys, candy, hair clips, stickers and hygiene items. Families, businesses, schools, churches or workplaces who would like to become involved in Operation Christmas Child are encouraged to contact Pastor Jim Tice at jim[at]parkwoodgardens[dot]ca
More information about Operation Christmas Child can be found at http://samaritanspurse.ca/occ/faqs.aspx
7 year old Molly Tice with one of her Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes