Filling a shoe box has the potential to impact a child that's half way across the world this Christmas.
Operation Christmas Child kicked off in Rocky Mountain House on November 6, where local residents have the chance to focus on the true meaning of Christmas to kids who need it most.
This year the boxes will be sent to places in Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Nicaragua), South America (Chile), Africa (Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Sierra Leone) and Europe (Ukraine). When filling the shoe box, you can select the age of the child you'd like to send the box to which the ages are 2-4, 5-9, and 10-12. You can pack anything you would like, but you can't pack candy or toothpaste.
Last year, 725 shoe boxes were collected in Rocky and the surround area.
One Operation Christmas Child Organizers, Kjersti Winchell, says this program is very special to not only herself but to her kids.
"It's huge, they enjoy the whole process of it and to know that they as a child in Rocky Mountain House can impact someone way across the world that they've never met or probably never will meet and that this little gift is going to not only impact that one child but maybe their siblings and their parents and their community," she said.
Winchell adds that they want to collect about 850 shoe boxes this year.
Shoe box pick-up and drop-offs can be done at Edwards Garage, Alpine Value Drug Mart, Rocky Credit Union, Shoppers Drug Mart, most churches in town, Marcels Emporium and the Great Canadian Dollar Store.
Drop-off collection starts from November 16 to the 18 at the Rocky Alliance Church.
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