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

Snowplow Safety Important For Everyone

With the lack of snowfall we've seen in the southeast corner of the province, it's easy to forget about the drivers that keep the roads clear and drivers safe. Snowplow operators are often overlooked…

Accident On 13th Ave and King Street

A two-vehicle collision took place early Wednesday morning. "At approximately 7:45 this morning, a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of 13th Avenue and King Street," explained…

The Difference Between Norovirus and Influenza Explained

Norovirus has been identified as the cause of a number of cases of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in the province. "Norovirus is a type of virus that affects the intestinal system," explained Doctor…

City's Proposed 2019 Budget Includes No Increase In Taxes Or Utility Rates

The city is planning some ambitious ideas for the proposed 2019 budget, but they won’t be including any higher taxes or utlility increases. The proposed budget was prepared by city administration and…

Pharmacies Running Out Of Flu Vaccine

It’s been a tough flu season in Canada and now some pharmacies in the Estevan area have been running out of the flu vaccine. Jeff Hilderman at the Estevan Pharmasave has seen his pharmacy run out of…

Three Ballots Needed Each for Police Board, Remuneration Board

At City Council's regular meeting Monday night, two boards needed people on it from the public at large - and the results were so close there were multiple ballots needed. It took three votes for…

Building Permits In City Down In 2018

Building permits for 2018 were down significantly from 2017, Estevan city council learned Monday night. The monthly building permit report gave an overview of how many building permits the city…

Festival Of Lights Shone Bright in 2018

The Festival of lights had a great turnout in 2018. They jumped from 11 participants in 2017 to 25 participants this year in 2018 and had an abundance of positive feedback from people driving through…

*Update* SaskTel Experiencing Long Distance Issues

“All circuits are busy. Please hang up and try your call again later.” This is the message many across Saskatchewan are hearing this morning when trying to make a long distance phone call or a call a…

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

Search the Biz Guide

Login