While it's a guarantee for many children that they will see presents under the tree at Christmas, some kids are not as lucky.

Operation Christmas Child's goal is to make sure every child receives a present during the holidays. The program collects donations during November, and then sends those gifts off to children in struggling countries, such as Guatemala, Guinea, Nicaragua, Ukraine and Costa Rica.

Derrick Deobald helps collect donations for the campaign with the Rosetown Alliance Church. He said they were were able to collect 255 boxes this year, "We saw an increase this year, but we also had more shoe boxes come from Eston and Outlook,  to Rosetown to take into the shoe box processing centre."

He noted there was a fairly large increase in donations, last year the Alliance Church collected 135 boxes.

From Rosetown, the boxes are sent to a processing center to be double-checked and properly packaged before they are sent off to children.

Deobald said they had 10 volunteers from the Church help at the processing centre in Calgary, "We did two shifts out there in the processing centre. Everything went well."

They group packaged around 6,200 boxes in their first shift and 8,300 in their second.

He said the trip to Calgary was overall a great experience for the group, "They seem to find it really rewarding and really enjoy doing it. They're asking already if we're going again next there. It's a positive experience was had by all and they feel like they're helping less fortunate children in other places."

Although the program has stopped collecting donations from communities, you can still 'pack a box' online.

packaging shoeboxes derrick deobaldRosetown Volunteers packaging shoe boxes in Calgary. (photo courtesy of Derrick Deobald) packing boxes 2 derrick deobald 

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