It was a busy week at the Stettler Schools complex as both elementary and high school students packed boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
The first shoe-box packing drive was organized by the Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS), which took over the event from the School Council. In previous years, the event was mandatory, FCS member Stephen DuToit explained. With FCS running it, it became voluntary.
Roughly 70 students filled 123 shoeboxes with toys, school supplies, and other things that girls and boys, younger and older, would enjoy. The Tuesday, Nov. 17 shoebox-packing happened turing Teacher Advisory time, so the students sacrificed study hall to pack boxes. FCS held bake sales and recycled cans and bottles to raise the money to buy the items and pay for box shipping.
On Friday, Nov. 20, students at Stettler Elementary gathered to pack their shoeboxes. Some of the FCS students went over to help the students pack their 322 boxes. Students from Kindergarten all the way to Grade 6 packed boxes, parent volunteer Christy Brennan said.
The boxes all end up being collected at the Stettler Alliance Church, which — with donations from schools and other groups and individuals in the community — packed 1,787 shoeboxes, which will be sent to Red Deer’s collection point. Boxes come in from as far as Consort and Veteran, Forestberg, Erskine, Big Valley and the communities in between, Brennan said.
Despite, or perhaps because of the change in the economy, the number of boxes packed increased from 1,712.