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Collection of Operation Christmas Child packages to start in Assiniboia

Assiniboia and area residents may pick up Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes at the Modern Dollar Plus store and the Southland Co-op.
Operation Christmas Child
Leila Bjornson, who has been the Local Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child in the Assiniboia area for the past 26 years, has travelled with Operation Christmas Child teams on seven different occasions to personally deliver shoeboxes to children in countries in South America, Central America, and West Africa. Pictured above is Leila with children in The Gambia, West Africa.

ASSINIBOIA - Canada’s 2021 Operation Christmas Child shoebox season is underway. National Shoebox Collection Week will be held Nov. 15-21. Assiniboia and area residents may pick up shoeboxes at the Modern Dollar Plus store and the Southland Co-op. Once those shoeboxes are filled, residents can also drop off them at the same two locations.

Last year Canadians lovingly packed 373,188 shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies and many other items. Each shoebox that someone fills is an opportunity to show hurting children that they are loved by God and by the person who packed the shoebox, and the gifts Canadians provide will once again bless children – many of whom have never before received a present.

Every shoebox packed by Canadians enables Operation Christmas Child to reach into some of the darkest and most isolated parts of the developing world. There were 36 sea containers of gift-filled shoeboxes shipped internationally in 2020.

Operation Christmas Child is an annual initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and development organization that works in more than 100 countries. Samaritan’s Purse takes its name from Jesus Christ’s Biblical story of the Good Samaritan.

Samaritan’s Purse aids victims of war, disease, natural disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution, and is much like the Bible tale of the Good Samaritan, who found a beaten man and helped restore him.  Besides Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse’s initiatives include providing safe water, vocational skills, and agricultural supplies and training to families in the developing world.  Residents can learn more at

Samaritan’s Purse is able to deliver the shoeboxes to children around the world living in the midst of poverty, disease, war, and natural disaster, due to all the items that Canadians lovingly put in their shoeboxes, and the $10-per-box they donate to cover shipping and other program costs.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and hand delivered more than 178 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 160 countries. The Canadian shoeboxes donated in 2020 were part of a worldwide total of 9,113,853 shoeboxes collected in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Australia, and New Zealand.    

Shoeboxes are given as unconditional gifts regardless of the child’s race, religion, or gender. When given, they open doors for Samaritan’s Purse to work with local community leaders in identifying and addressing important needs such as clean water, literacy, vocational training for women, school meals for children, etc.

Where it is culturally appropriate, all children who receive a shoebox are invited to attend “The Greatest Journey”, Samaritan’s Purse’s 12-lesson evangelism and discipleship program. 

Shoeboxes from Canada will be going to the countries of El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica in Central America and to the countries of Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, and Sierra Leone in West Africa.

Thousands of Canadians are also taking advantage of Operation Christmas Child’s online option that enables them to pack shoeboxes all year round at Canadians can choose shoebox gift items while also uploading personal notes and photos.