Canadians donate more than 662,000 gift-filled shoe boxes to the world's hurting children

Feb 12, 2013, 09:00 ET from Samaritan's Purse Canada

Operation Christmas Child donations include more than 4,000 shoe boxes packed online; Internet option available to Canadians year-round

CALGARY, Feb. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians donated 662,312 shoe boxes packed with toys, hygiene items, and school supplies during the 2012 Operation Christmas Child shoe box campaign that ended recently.

Operation Christmas Child staff, volunteers, and partners are now distributing the 2012 shoe boxes in the developing world. During the next few weeks, children in Haiti, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Paraguay, Guatemala, and Venezuela will be receiving shoe boxes packed by caring Canadians.

"Sending over 662,000 lovingly packed shoe boxes of gifts to needy children around the world is simply a thrilling task for us," said Randy Crosson, director of Operation Christmas Child Canada, a program of international Christian relief and development organization Samaritan's Purse Canada.

"Each shoe box is an opportunity to show these children—who likely have never before received a gift—that they are loved by God and by generous Canadians from coast to coast."

More than 4,300 shoe boxes were packed online. Thousands of Canadians took advantage of Operation Christmas Child's option that enables anyone visiting to choose shoe box gift items, write a personal note, add a photo, and make a donation.

This online option is available year-round for those who for health reasons, scheduling challenges, or limited access to transportation aren't able to shop for gifts and pack shoe boxes in the traditional way.

Since 1993, Samaritan's Purse has collected and hand-delivered more than 100 million shoe box gifts to children in over 130 countries hurt by war, poverty, natural disaster, disease, and famine.

About Samaritan's Purse Canada

Samaritan's Purse Canada is an international Christian relief and development organization working in about 40 countries to help victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine, and persecution. The charity's primary activities include not only Operation Christmas Child, but building and installing life-saving BioSand Water Filters in the developing world. Go to for more information.

SOURCE Samaritan's Purse Canada