Another Operation Christmas Child Shoebox store has opened up in the southeast. This one inside the Blumenort Community Church.

Organizers, Debbi deKlein and Lindsay Plett from the church, have been setting up the shoebox store for 10 years.

deKlein says, “We 're super excited to do it again. We're set up in the foyer here and so, as you walk into the doors of the church, you can see some of the stuff set up. And it's easily accessible. And here, for anybody who wants to come pack a shoebox.”

deKlein says, this year they’ll be open an extra week. She tells us why.

“Part of it I guess, is because it's a lot of work to set up, and it would just also give people more time to come. We’ve had a lot of people who were saying, oh, your shoebox store is done already? And so, this year we're going to do it longer, which will give people more time to be able to come and pack a box.“

deKlein notes both she and Lindsay love the shopping part of putting together a shoebox store, spending time with the volunteers,

“But also, just seeing the people come and knowing that we're going to be making a difference in some kids’ lives or maybe even a family's life in a different country.”

She says their store has all the basics needed to put together an Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

“Things that we consider essential, like hygiene stuff and school supplies. But as far as some of the toys and stuff like that, we always try to find new things that maybe would be more current.”

Viktoria, formerly from Ukraine now volunteering at OCC Shoebox store in BlumenortViktoria, formerly from Ukraine now volunteering at OCC Shoebox store in Blumenort (photo submitted) 

deKlein shares that one of their congregants, a recent immigrant to Canada from Ukraine, noticed they were setting up the OCC Shoebox store.

“She was so excited to see the shoeboxes. Back in Ukraine, she was the one organizing distribution of OCC Shoeboxes at her church. She was in charge of it. She was the one teaching “The Greatest Journey”, which is the 12-week lesson that they get after they have gotten a shoebox.”

“Viktoria was just overjoyed to be able to now be the one to packing a shoebox. And just to see the joy on her face was just amazing. I can imagine the positive impact that she would have had on the kids in the Ukraine. It’s just so wonderful to see that somebody, from the receiving end of things and how they managed that.”

The Blumenort Community Church Operation Christmas Child Shoebox store is open Monday to Saturday 1:00 pm to 8:00pm and on Sunday’s from 12noon to 4:00pm

Shoebox Collection week is from November 13 to 19. 



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