Getting a pair of new shoes for Christmas is always fun: shaking the suspiciously sized box, tearing off the wrapping paper, excitedly opening the lid of the box, and squealing with joy as you uncover the tissue paper and see your new heels/boots/runners/flats.
But, what if instead of shoes, there were school supplies, personal hygiene items, and toys inside the shoebox?
Maybe for us here in Canada, that doesn’t sound too exciting. But for children in impoverished countries around the world, those things would be far more exciting than the latest black patent pump. That’s exactly why we here at Canada’s Cleaning Crew participate in the Samaritan’s Purse “Christmas Shoebox” program.
The program started in 1990, and has collected and distributed over 100 million shoeboxes filled with items for needy children around the world since then. In this program, there is no discrimination based on race, gender, or religion: every child is equal, and every child deserves a little help at Christmas. These boxes provide more than just basic necessities: they are a reminder to children living through famine, disease, poverty, and disaster that they matter, that they are LOVED.
And isn’t love the greatest gift of all?
We fill up our shoeboxes here in Canada, and drop them off at a collection center. Then every shoebox makes its way to a child who needs it, by plane, train, automobile – or even camel or canoe! We like to think of every shoebox like a little bright spot travelling across the world. Knowing that somewhere in the wide world, a child will open our box and be filled with joy – that is a priceless feeling.
“IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE” – ACTS 20:35
Part of our mission statement includes giving back to the community. A lot of the time, that means our local community here in Ottawa. But we feel that Christmas is the perfect time to think a little… outside the box.
If you’d like to participate, you can take your shoeboxes to a local drop off location during National Collection Week – November 16 – 22, 2015. Find out more information here.