490,000 shoeboxes shipped from Canada
Residents of Vancouver and the Fraser Valley lovingly packed 21,978 gift-filled shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and many other items during the 2019 Operation Christmas Child shoebox campaign that recently ended.
The 490,471 boxes donated across Canada in 2019 – including almost 13,000 packed online at PackaBox.ca – were part of a worldwide total of 10,569,405 collected in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Australia, and New Zealand.
Distribution of the shoeboxes in the developing world has already begun. During the next few weeks, children in Central America and western Africa will be receiving shoeboxes packed by caring Canadians.
Each shoebox is an opportunity for God to extend His Love and offer of salvation through Christ Jesus to children and their families.
“We are extremely thankful to Canadians, many of whom are unemployed or facing significant economic uncertainty, for their generosity in continuing to support this vital program year after year,” said Randy Crosson, director of Operation Christmas Child Canada.
“Each shoebox that someone fills is an opportunity to show hurting children that they are loved by God and by us, and the gifts Canadians have provided will once again bless children – many of whom have never before received a present.”
As children in need receive their Canadian-packed shoeboxes, Samaritan’s Purse proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ in three ways:
1. When it is culturally appropriate, they present the Gospel to all children at shoebox distribution events. Many parents or guardians attend these events and also hear the Good News.
2. Children are offered The Greatest Gift, a colourful storybook that shares the message of salvation. The booklet (available in more than 80 languages) shares 11 Scripture stories and invites children to follow Christ. Shoebox recipients can take The Greatest Gift home to share with family and friends.
3. When possible, children who receive a shoebox participate in The Greatest Journey, our 12-lesson evangelism and discipleship program. After finishing The Greatest Journey, children attend a graduation celebration where they are given a certificate and a New Testament in their language. It is often the first copy of God’s Word the child or their family have ever owned.
During the last ten years, God has used The Greatest Journey to bring more than nine million children to faith in His Son. In many cases, these children lead their parents and siblings to faith in Christ.