Volunteers from Mission schools, churches and community groups, as well as many individuals, have donated 1,275 shoeboxes filled with gifts for children throughout the world.
At the Operation Christmas Child collection centre at Cedar Valley Mennonite Church, volunteers sorted and loaded shipping cartons with the gifts, which will be sent to Haiti, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Chile, Uruguay, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ukraine.
“One boy had a birthday party,” said Mission co-ordinator Dorothy Phillips, “and instead of getting gifts, he asked for a toonie from each of his friends. He collected $28, which will pay the cost of shipping four boxes.”
Other financial donations came from a group of South Asian men who meet in the church basement. They contributed enough to ship 115 boxes.
One Mission woman recruited her daughters and granddaughters to form an assembly line to fill 140 boxes as their donation.
On shipping day, earlier this week, volunteers from Heritage Park Middle School helped put the shoeboxes into cartons for shipment to Calgary, where they will be re-routed to their final destinations.
Anyone who would still like to donate a shoebox can contact the regional manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.