© Jocelyn Turner - Amherst Daily News
Ken Langille (right) and his wife Bonnie recently celebrated a successful year with the Operation Christmas Child campaign. The contacts for Cumberland County said theyfilled over 1,000 boxes with gifts.
AMHERST – The Samaritan’s Purses’ Operation Christmas Child stretched a little farther this year. The campaign collected the 100 millionth shoebox this year during the campaign’s 20th anniversary.
Operation Christmas Child is an organization that fills shoeboxes with gifts for children in needy countries.
Ken Langille, one of the contacts for the campaign in the Cumberland County area, said they had a few more organizations sign on to make donations.
“There are 26 contacts, and each year it grows,” said Langille. “This year, there were four new churches that came on board.”
Schools, businesses and churches participate in the campaign and, with the extra help from their new contacts, Langille said Cumberland County was able to send out 100 more shoeboxes filled with gifts for children in needy countries. Overall, the county sent out over 1,000 boxes.
“The countries we’re sending to this year are Uruguay, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Guinea and places like that,” said Langille. “The countries are divided up between all the provinces.”
Between all of North America, the charity gives to over 100 needy countries.
“The boxes always go to war-torn areas,” said Langille’s wife Bonnie. “And usually, it’s the only gift any of these children have ever gotten.”
“It’s kind of an awesome thing to do,” added Langille.
The boxes for the campaign were collected on Nov. 20 and shipped to processing plants before being sent overseas.
Collection for next year’s donations can begin at any time. For more information on how to become involved with the campaign or to make a donation, contact Ken Langille at 243-3539. For more information about the campaign, visit www.samaritanspurse.ca.