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Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes are ready to be picked up and filled with gifts here in southeastern Manitoba.

Community Coordinator Brittany Plett says there are a number of businesses here in the Southeast that distribute the shoe boxes and residents have already begun to fill them. She notes Operation Christmas Child is a great way for kids to get involved in giving back.

"I love the fact that my kids can give to kids that don’t have anything. I realize that my kids probably won’t quite grasp the reality of what these kids receiving the shoe boxes will experience but I want my kids to have that giving heart and generosity built into them."

Plett says Operation Christmas Child has made a huge impact over the years. She notes this year she is hoping that they have a record number of boxes filled with gifts here in the Southeast.

"I want to get as many shoe boxes as we possibly can this year and in years to come. I want this to be a huge outreach that our community can do for another community. It is very awesome to bless a child with a Christmas present that they may not ever receive in their entire life."

Plett says it is important to get started with the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes as early as possible because they will be collected between November 13th and 17th.

"The reason that we do shoe boxes so early we have to ship them off to Calgary. From Calgary, they get sorted through and from there they get put into containers and shipped to foreign countries. It is a really long process so the earlier we get started the sooner the kids get blessed with our shoe boxes."

Plett says certain products like liquids or foods can’t be shipped overseas which is why they must look through each box. She says the rules on what can go into a box can be found at the Operation Christmas Child website.

Boxes can be collected or dropped off at a few different churches and at the following businesses:
-Canadian Tire
-Timber Falls Store and Car Wash
-Rogers Steinbach
-Ledingham GMC
-Shell Super Splash
-JT's Store

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