The numbers are staggering: one billion children live in poverty worldwide according to UNICEF and 22,000 children die of poverty each day. One in seven people around the world lives in extreme poverty (900 million people) and about 47 of those are people 18 or younger.
Children are supposed to play, go to school and when the holiday season comes around, jump for joy as they open the presents under the tree and marvel at the spirit of Christmas. Of course, given the statistics, we know that not every child lives that happy ideal.
To help children in impoverished situations get a little more cheer this year, you can help by simply filling up a shoebox with an organization called Operation Christmas Child. By filling a shoebox with basic necessities: hygiene products, toys, school supplies and more, children who may not get presents this year will get the opportunity to find some extra cheer this holiday season.
Through Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child has helped put smiles on the faces of millions of children around the world. Since 1993, the organization has helped 124 million children around the world. Just last year, over 700,000 boxes were collected in Canada alone and over 11 million around the world.
Items for the shoeboxes can be purchased at the dollar store, grocery store, or anywhere you shop. For the digital savvy shoppers, there’s an online option, as well! You can now pack a personalized box and include a message online at packabox.ca.
You can choose who you’d like to send a shoebox to, as well! Category options include boys and girls aged 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Recommended items to include are:
- Hygiene products: toothbrush, comb, soap and facecloth
- School supplies
- Personal note
Once you’ve filled out the shoebox, you can drop it off at one of their many drop off locations including any of the four La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery locations, or Toy Jungle. If you’re heading the Vancouver Giants games this Sunday October 23rd, OCC will be on hand for you to learn more about the organization and pick up your boxes.
For more information, visit www.samaritanspurse.ca/occ.
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