Christmas may still be two months away, but residents in and around Estevan are already in the festive spirit and have started packing shoeboxes for the annual Operation Christmas Child program. 

"Operation Christmas Child has been a program of Samaritans's Purse since 1993," explained local campaign coordinator Jillian Ursu. "What happens is, people in Canada pack shoebox filled gifts and they send them off to children in other countries. Children that are hurting, they're often in war-torn situations or disaster areas. It's a simple but incredible gift, a way of letting them know that they're not forgotten, that they're loved. It's a wonderful program."

Children in countries like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Ukraine receive boxes packed with toys and other items. Last year, 1534 boxes were collected in Estevan and area and she noted that 54 boxes have already been returned so far this year. 

"We recommend a balance between toys and hygiene items and school supplies so they get some of those fun things like dolls, soccer balls, stuffed animals, musical instruments and those kinds of things. And then other things that they might have more use of like socks, hats, shorts, shorts, toothbrushes, a wash cloths and a comb. And then school supplies like pencils, pens, crayons, notebooks, all those sorts of things."

As well, there is a suggested donation to help with shipping costs which has been raised to $10 this year. 

Ursu noted that there are some things that you can't include in your boxes. Candy had been allowed but in the last few years, due to custom issues, it was taken off the list. 

"Another item that can't go in is toothpaste. Anything that is used, breakable items, anything that can leak, melt or freeze."

She also adds that playing cards are not allowed. 

"In some countries, there's issues with gambling or just that cards are seen as something that is negative."

As well, any type of violent toy such as toy guns, water guns and toy knives are not allowed.

"Nothing that could scare a child. No war related toys."

She adds that new in the past few years is the Ukraine initiative. 

"That's been getting more popular in the last couple years. It encourages people who already pack a shoebox to pack an extra shoebox for the Ukraine. Those boxes can be a little bit different in the sense that it's one of the only places that we send to that gets cold so you can send things like mitts, toques, scarves and fuzzy socks."

"If you're a large group, you can actually have the boxes shipped directly to you. Just go on Samaritan'sPurse.ca. Anyone who is an individual or a smaller group can come into the collection centre which is in the Estevan Alliance Church. And that is where the boxes in our area are returned to. So once you've gotten them filled and ready to go, then you can bring them back."

Boxes can be dropped off on or before November 19th.

More Local News

SNS Marches Out Racism

The Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan (MCOS) has been raising awareness of the benefits of cultural diversity and the dangers of racism since November 22, 1975. Created to represent six regional…

Humane Society Has Vital Talks

Vital communication is a big part of our community and many areas within the energy city are gathering together to see where updates are needed. The Estevan Public Library hosted a recent community…

Glowing For A Cause

The Midale Swimming Pool had a fundraiser to bring out all those wanting to join in on a glow skate. Joleen Tuchscherer the administrator for the Town of Midale, "On Saturday we had a Glow Skate at…

Busy Docket For City Council

From the conditions of the streets and highways in southeast Saskatchewan, to the amount of money councillors and the mayor recieve, a number of major topics were discussed at council last night.…

Road Bans Come Into Affect

As of midnight Sunday night, road bans are officially on for the grid roads in the RM of Estevan, as well as Benson and Coalfields. Vehicles over 12,000lbs are barred from driving on all grid roads…

There Was A 78% Increase In Workplace Fatalities Last Year According To WCB

The Workers Compensation Board of Saskatchewan has released some of there injury and fatality numbers for the year 2018. While the ten-year average has seen a steady decline in the number of…

The B&T Gun Show Back For Its 6th Year

One could make the argument that the safest place in Estevan was at the B&T Gun Show this weekend. The Floors were jam-packed with hunters, sportsmen, and enthusiasts. The Wylie Mitchell Hall was…

Southeast College to Implement Business Management Essentials Program

Southeast College has plans to implement a Business Management Essentials program. Dion McGrath, President, and CEO of Southeast College shared some highlights of their plans in a media release on…

Changes That Simplify Payments To Foster Parents

The Saskatchewan Foster Families Association is applauding the Saskatchewan Government's announcement that they will simplify the payment structure for foster families. Currently, foster families…

Autism Funding Comes Up Short

With the recently released budget, the provincial government bumped the number of funding families with children with autism under the age of six receive. The funding is being increased from $4,000 a…

DiscoverEstevan.com is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login