The annual Operation Christmas Child campaign in Estevan enjoyed one of its best years ever in 2012.
A total of 1,680 shoe boxes were collected through this year's campaign. It's the second highest total since Operation Christmas Child has been happening in Estevan, according to local coordinator Marlene Eagles.
“It's amazing the way in which people have opened their hearts and filled shoe boxes,” Eagles said.
Just over 1,000 shoe boxes came in last year.
Eagles said that no matter how many shoe boxes are donated, she views the support as a blessing.
Donations came from individuals, schools, community groups and organizations. Some of the people who hadn't heard of the campaign previously showed support, she said. The shoe boxes were packed with all sorts of gifts, candies, toys, school supplies and hygiene products.
The unofficial deadline to submit a shoe box was on November 25 at the Estevan Alliance Church. Members of the CanElson Drilling Estevan Bruins dropped by on November 26 to help place the shoe boxes on the delivery truck for Regina.
From there, the boxes will be taken to Calgary, and then shipped to Uruguay, Costa Rica and Nicaragua for children who otherwise wouldn't receive a gift. The shoe boxes are delivered to children regardless of gender, race, religion, or age.