The generous spirit of Estevan residents was on display again during this year.
Written by Nolan Kowal
The generous spirit of Estevan residents was on display again during this year’s Operation Christmas Child, a weeklong humanitarian effort that touches several countries around the world.
“We ended up with 461 shoeboxes by the end of the week,” said Jillian Ursu, the drop off team lead for Estevan. “Estevan showed its support in amazing ways again. Lots of individuals, families, church groups, and organizations packed shoeboxes again this year, so it was a pretty awesome end to the week.”
Ursu explained how the process works.
“Basically a person picks up a shoebox from the collection centre and they will pack it with various items like hygiene items, school supplies, toys, different things like that,” she said. “And then they choose whether it’s going to be for a boy or a girl and what age group.”
From there, the shoeboxes get sent overseas to countries such as Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Sierra Leone, which are all in West Africa. Ukraine and the Philippines were also added this year due to recent events.
“These kids get a shoebox…often times it’s the only gift that they will receive. So it’s pretty incredible that we could bless these kids in that way,” Ursu said.
Ursu said the impact of Operation Christmas Child is immeasurable.
“It’s pretty amazing the impact that it has because it kind of opens the door, by giving the shoebox gift, for Samaritans to be able to go in there and help with other kinds of things like disaster relief or providing water for a community,” she said. “It’s not just a shoebox gift…it kind of opens the door for other relief and aid as well.”
She added that shoeboxes were packed all around Estevan and were then dropped off at Estevan Alliance Church. From there, the boxes go to the provincial drop-off centre in Regina, then they get processed in Calgary before being shipped out to the various countries.