A group of young boys open their Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes in the Church of God church in Masaka

Record year for shoebox giving in Campbell River

This year’s community effort is one for the Operation Christmas Child history books

This year’s community effort is one for the Operation Christmas Child history books.

More people than ever before packed and dropped off a shoebox full of Christmas gifts for children living in poverty.

Deana Longland, Campbell River’s Operation Christmas Child coordinator, said 1,656 shoeboxes were received at Campbell River’s Collection Centre – Discovery Community Church.

That number is a record for the Campbell River area and is a significant increase over last year’s tally of 1,480 shoeboxes.

“Every year it increases by about five per cent; it goes up by about 15 or 20 shoeboxes,” Longland said. “This year it’s up 176 – that’s over 10 per cent. It’s the biggest jump ever.”

Longland said this year’s output can be partly attributed to all of the surrounding communities that contributed, including Gold River, Sayward, Tahsis, Port Alice and Port McNeil.

But she said this year in particular seemed to generate a broader interest in the project and talk of Operation Christmas Child spread through the community.

“It was just incredible to see the love and the giving of people wanting to help strangers,” Longland said.

All of the shoeboxes collected were loaded on to a delivery truck last week and shipped to Calgary where they will be checked over and prepared for delivery to children living around the world.

The shoeboxes will be distributed to children in either El Salvador, Haiti, Guatemala, Venezuela, Guinea, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Ukraine, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau or Sierra Leone.

Operation Christmas Child is an initiative of the charitable Christian organization Samaritan’s Purse, whose army of volunteers will hand-deliver the shoeboxes to children living in the midst of poverty, disease, war and natural disaster.

Since 1993, when Samaritan’s Purse adopted Operation Christmas Child, more than 135 million shoeboxes have been distributed to children worldwide.

Last year, Canadians packed more than 730,000 shoeboxes.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Alcohol and speed believed to be factors in collision – Campbell River RCMP

Woman injured after driver ran into her car on Highway 19A, says fire captain

VIDEO: Mowi launches $30-million vessel to treat farmed salmon for sea lice

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

City of Campbell River opens the call for food trucks downtown this summer

City will use pilot project to determine the future of food trucks in the downtown core

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

Campbell River Skating Club wraps up another great season

‘We could not have possibly asked for a more encouraging year to continue to build on’

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read