Operation Christmas Child campaign underway

A sign Christmas is coming

It's time to start packing the shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Liz Fedato, the local co-ordinator for the global charitable organization, says Operation Christmas Child expects to pack its 100 millionth shoe box this holiday season.

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"This is our 20th year and it has been our most satisfying project," Fedato told the News.

Last year, Lillooet donated 167 boxes, less than in previous years. Some families chose to pack a box online, which was a new initiative last year.

The shoe boxes will go to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua and El Salvador in Central America; and Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela in South America.

Shoe boxes can be picked up at the Lillooet Flower Shop and Bridge River-Lillooet News, or from Liz Fedato by calling her at 250-256-4048. Filled boxes will be picked up from local businesses Nov. 23, or can be dropped off at the Lillooet Gospel Chapel on Saturday, Nov. 24.

The boxes will then be put into larger boxes to be shipped to Kamloops via Nickoli Cartage, then on to Calgary via Greyhound Express. Both transportation companies have provided this shipping service free of charge for many years.

Each shoe box is packed with hygiene items, school supplies, toys and candy and is given to children regardless of gender, race, religion or age. When culturally appropriate, copies of the book, The Greatest Gift of All, are offered to children after the shoe boxes are distributed.

Operation Christmas Child is an offshoot of Samaritan's Purse, a non-denominational evangelical church organization.

For more information, visit online at samaritanspurse.ca/occ. or call 1-800-303-1269.

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