Local residents are being encouraged to pack shoe boxes with small gifts for children in other countries through the annual Operation Christmas Child campaign, which is offered by the Christian ministry Samaritan's Purse.
Individuals, families, churches, businesses, sports teams and community groups are expected to fill shoe boxes. Supporters will fill their boxes with age and gender-appropriate gifts, and then mark whether the container is for a boy or a girl, and which age group the box is intended for.
The gift-filled shoe boxes will be delivered to children around the world who are living in the midst of poverty, disease, war and natural disaster. This year they are slated to be delivered to Haiti, Central America, South America or West Africa.
Last year, Canadians filled more than 662,000 shoeboxes.
A variety of items can be packed into a container, such as packaged hard candies; school supplies, markers, non-medicated baby wipes and wet wipes, candles, Bibles, non-liquid deodorant sticks, ink pads, scissors, sewing kits, silly putty, bar soap, temporary tattoos, tools and multi-tools, toys that aren't war related, and winter clothing.
Donors are asked to also include a photo so that recipients can see the face of the contributor.
Samaritan's Purse does have a list of products and merchandise that shouldn't be included. Those items include soft candy, granola bars, cookies, gum, knives, liquids, make-up, medicines, non-encased mirrors, seeds, sea shells, toothpaste, vitamins and anything related to war.
Shoe boxes can be picked up at the Estevan Alliance Church, and they can be dropped off at the church starting at 9 a.m. on November 19. The deadline will be November 23 at 3 p.m.
A total of 1,680 boxes were collected in the Estevan area last year.