FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – Peace Region families collected shoeboxes full of gifts for over 1,400 children in other countries through the 27th annual Operation Christmas Child.

The communities stuffed 1,423 out of 46,066 boxes across B.C. with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and many other items before the holidays.

The participating communities include Fort St. John, Taylor, Charlie Lake, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, and Prespatou.

The shoeboxes are already being delivered, with children in Central America and western Africa receiving 373,188 shoeboxes from Canadians.

“Given the tremendous pandemic challenges all of us faced in 2020, we are extremely thankful to Canadians—many of whom are unemployed or facing economic uncertainty—for their generosity in continuing to support this program,” said Randy Crosson, director of Operation Christmas Child Canada.

There are five categories of items placed into the shoeboxes after being arranged through age group and gender.

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and hand-delivered more than 186 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 130 countries hurt by war, poverty, natural disaster, disease, and famine.