Vernon fills shoeboxes with Christmas cheer

Children in Costa Rica show off their Operation Christmas Child shoebox before opening it. (Operation Christmas Child)Children in Costa Rica show off their Operation Christmas Child shoebox before opening it. (Operation Christmas Child)
COVID-19 regulations moved the collection of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes outdoors but the pandemic couldn’t slow down donations. Volunteers accepted 1,479 boxes from the Greater Vernon and Armstrong area. (Contributed)COVID-19 regulations moved the collection of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes outdoors but the pandemic couldn’t slow down donations. Volunteers accepted 1,479 boxes from the Greater Vernon and Armstrong area. (Contributed)
Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes were packed into cartoons in 2020 for shipment to Calgary before being sent out to receiving countries. (Contributed)Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes were packed into cartoons in 2020 for shipment to Calgary before being sent out to receiving countries. (Contributed)

Brisk air and some snowfall on area ski resorts may have some turning their attention to the upcoming holiday season and one charity is asking Vernon residents to fill a shoebox with Christmas cheer.

Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child is back and volunteers are readying to collect shoeboxes filled with gifts Nov. 15-21 before sending them to children in areas suffering from war, poverty and famine.

Empty red and green boxes are now available at Vernon Teach and Learn, Teeter Totter Toys, London Drugs, Dollar Tree and Your Dollar Store with More.

They’re also available for pickup at the Vernon Alliance Church on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 9-4 p.m., Wednesday 12-4 p.m. and Friday 9-1 p.m.

Once the shoeboxes are filled with quality gifts, hygiene items and school supplies, they can be dropped off at the church during the third week of November. The hours of collection are available online at samaritanspurse.ca.

Last year, volunteers took the collection outdoors to adhere to COVID-19 regulations but the pandemic couldn’t slow down Greater Vernon and Armstrong residents. A total of 1,479 shoeboxes were collected in 2020.

Volunteer Victoria Carey said another drive-thru or curbside option will be offered his year in the north parking lot of the church.

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