Operation Christmas Child Shoebox sends gifts to kids around the world. - Image: Contributed

Kelowna church collecting gifts for kids in need

Close to 5,000 boxes expected to be gathered this week by local church group

It’s Christmas Child Shoebox collection week at Kelowna’s Gospel Fellowship Church.

The church, in partnership with Calgary company Samaritan’s Purse, are collecting shoeboxes filled with gifts to be distributed to kids in need in over 100 countries worldwide.

“This year we anticipate close to 5,000 boxes will be packed in the Central Okanagan, gathered at the Kelowna Gospel Fellowship Church, before being shipped to kids around the world,” said senior pastor Mike Penninga.

In 2016, more than 11 million gift-filled shoeboxes were collected worldwide under the program and since 1993, more than 146 million Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes have been collected and distributed around the world.

In Canada 664,525 gift-filled shoeboxes were collected in Canada in 2016.

All you have to do is fill an average-sized cardboard or plastic shoeboxes (no large ones) with small gifts, and affix a completed boy or girl label to each box. Donate $10 per box online at SamaritansPurse.ca or place a cheque or cash donation in the attached envelop with your completed reply card.

There are several chances to fill and drop off your shoebox this week at the church at 3714 Gordon Drive.

Tuesday Nov. 14 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wednesday Nov. 15 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Thursday Nov. 16 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday Nov. 17 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday Nov. 18 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday Nov. 19 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Shoebox gifts can also be packed online at PackaBox.ca.

Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts are also collected in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Finland, Spain, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States.

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