It may be too early to set up your Christmas tree or start singing carols, but it's never too early to get into the giving spirit. Operation Christmas Child is starting their campaign to collect toy filled shoe boxes for children in other countries.

Derrick Deobald helps collect donations for the campaign in the Rosetown area.

"I've been involved for about six years now, I started out just packing shoe boxes with my kids. Now I'm in charge of logistics, and we go and package boxes at the processing centre in Calgary," Deobald explained.

 The items can be packed in a shoe box, or other average sized cardboard boxes. A few of the countries that are included on the mailing list are Guatemala, Guinea, Nicaragua, Ukraine and Costa Rica.

While it can be difficult to choose exactly what to include in the box, Operation Christmas Child gives donors a general idea.

  • 'Wow Items' - typically a medium sized item like a deflated ball with a pump, stuffed animals or shoes
  • Small Toy Items - toy cars, a yo-yo or jump rope
  • School Supplies - writing utensils, notebooks or paper, coloring or picture books
  • Hygiene Items - tooth brushes, bar of soap, or combs
  • Accessories - t-shirts, socks, hats, sunglasses, or hair clips
  • Do Not Include - candy, toothpaste, used or damaged items, any toys that promote violence (toy guns, knives, military figures) any food, liquids, medications/vitamins, anything fragile like snow globes, aerosol cans.

More Info: What to Include

"(Kids receiving boxes), it's letting them know someone cares about them and they are important... Some of these kids can't afford school supplies, and they get erasers, pencils and crayons and it makes their day because now they can go to school"

Deobald said the program not only benefits those who receive the gifts, but those who pack them as well, "The kids packing the boxes, they can reach out to other children less fortunate than themselves."

National collection week is November 12th to the 18th, a little over a month away. Boxes can be dropped off the Rosetown Alliance Church and the Spokes Family Resource Centre in Kindersley. Deobald also recommends people include $10 with their box for the shipping costs.

More Info: Operation Christmas Child

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