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Operation Christmas Child - 080053 Operation Christmas Child

A special toy makes its way to Costa Rica

When Judy Carpino’s mother died in 2013, she left behind a small just-like-new stuffed bear on her bed.

“I was going to give it to a niece or nephew, but they have so much already that I wanted to do something special with it,” says Judy, from Pickering, Ontario.

So Judy put the bear into an Operation Christmas Child shoebox packed by her church and brought it with her on a special Samaritan’s Purse trip to Costa Rica. That’s where the beloved bear found a new home with nine-year-old Diandra, who received the box during a distribution event at a tiny church.

Diandra was shy and didn’t say much, but despite the Spanish-English language barrier, she was able to point to her favorite item in the shoebox: the stuffed bear.

“It was a very unique experience,” a grateful Judy says afterward. “Every so often, I’ll think about the bear and wonder how Diandra’s doing with it. And will she pass it on to a baby sister or brother?”

Because of this connection and many more made during the trip, Judy, who paid most of her own expenses to participate, came to a deeper understanding of the Good News and Great Joy of a simple shoebox gift.

“Canadians need to catch the fever and know they are being blessed (by packing shoeboxes), even if they don’t give their boxes to someone themselves,” she says emphatically.

Please join Judy and tens of thousands of other Canadians in packing shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items and school supplies this year. As the Bible says, “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38, ESV).

Operation Christmas Child - 080053 Operation Christmas Child

Please donate $10 for every shoebox you prepare. Your donations will help cover project costs, including shipping (make one combined donation for multiple shoeboxes). Consider making an additional donation to help Samaritan's Purse go beyond the shoebox and expand assistance to children, their families, and their communities. Samaritan's Purse does not provide receipts for the value of gift items included in a shoebox.