Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with special gifts for impoverished children are expected to fill the Stettler Alliance Church this week.
Collection week for the Third World charity wraps up this Saturday.
Boxes may be delivered to the Alliance Church daily from 8:20 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For a final wrap-up, the church will host a packing party Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
“Feel free to bring all your purchased items — if you haven’t packed them yet — to the church and we’ll pack our shoeboxes together and enjoy an evening of fun, prayer and hot chocolate,” said Christy Brennan, the church co-ordinator for the project.
Boxes can be designated for a girl or a boy, ages two to four years old, five to nine, or 10 to 14.
Local shoeboxes will be distributed by Samaritan’s Purse to children in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Venezuela, Paraguay, Guinea and Equatorial Guinea.
“Along with Operation Christmas Child, this is your opportunity to bring joy and hope to children in desperate situations around the world,” Brennan said.
“Many of the children who receive a shoebox are given the first gift they have ever received.”
A box can be filled with a well-balanced variety of items of school supplies, toys and other gifts, such as stuffed animals, small musical instruments, hair clips, toy jewelry, T-shirts, socks, and candy (loose, individually wrapped hard candy in a sealable bag), hygiene products and personal items.
Don’t pack toothpaste, food and any chewy, crumbly, or soft candy, used items, playing cards, liquids that could leak, melt, freeze or break, or items that could scare or harm a child.
Those packing a shoebox are also urged to donate a minimum $7 for each shoebox to help cover project costs, including shipping.
For more information, phone Stettler Alliance Church at 403-742-1135.