Newfoundlanders Make Good Packers!

A Newfoundland collection center prepares for shipping

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador have always been known to be generous in their volunteer services as well as in giving to charity. This has been proven true once again with Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes. In 2010 alone, Newfoundlanders packed 32,893 shoeboxes for distribution to needy children in Central America and the coast of Africa. This represents a 17% increase in the number of shoeboxes filled by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in 2009. It also gives us the distinction of being the highest per capita givers in Canada – an unprecedented 1 in 16 people in this province filled shoeboxes! The next highest province in per capita giving for 2010 was Alberta with 1 in 25 people taking part. Of course with all the Newfoundlanders living in Alberta this is no surprise! These two provinces went a long way in helping the total shoeboxes packed and sent by Canada last year to reach the grand total of 640,174.

(Above: Children excitedly receiving shoeboxes. Newfoundlanders lead Canada in per capita donations)

Child in Haiti holding Chrismas Shoebox

Child in Haiti holding Christmas Shoebox (image courtesy of Operation Christmas Child)

Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes is a world-wide charity run by Samaritan’s Purse,  managed by Franklin Graham. Begun in the 1970’s, this charity operates by providing participants with an empty ‘shoebox’,  or the person may use a regular shoebox, which is then filled with items such as toys, small clothing items, personal hygiene items, treats such as candy, etc. The box is labelled for a boy or girl aged 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. These are collected by a Local Collection Centre, and then moved to Calgary where they are prepared for shipping from Canada to needy children in many different countries. This process of giving is also carried out in many other countries that have the resources to do so.

This process is well under way for this year with National Collection Week being November 21-28. Any Newfoundlander who wants to participate may still do so – simply find the Collection Centre nearest you and you will be given any needed instructions. It looks like this will be another banner year for giving with Collection Centers in Newfoundland already reporting increases in the number of Shoeboxes that have been picked up to be filled.

-Lawrence Sheppard

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