Pack up your cares

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

For many years, Ellen Martin has helped her family stuff shoeboxes with small gifts and useful items, as a way of wishing a happier Christmas for children around the world.

This year, however, the Millgrove Grade 12 student will be able to witness first-hand the joy those gift-filled shoeboxes bring to the faces of impoverished children.

On December 12, she will be heading to Belize for 10 days, to help distribute shoeboxes collected by the Operation Christmas Child campaign.

"I think it's going to be a life-changing experience," admits Martin.

She was inspired to apply to be part of the Canadian distribution team last winter, after she spent a day volunteering at the Ontario distribution warehouse, where boxes are packaged for shipping to children across the world in need of Christmas cheer.

"Here in Canada, we have so much, and people sometimes become focused on things they shouldn't be focused on," she says. "I'm sure it will be a very eye-opening experience, seeing the children."

In order to join the team of 73 Canadian students and 100 American students headed to Belize, Martin has had to raise $2,000 for the trip. Family and friends have supported her desire to help out.

The Parkside High School student is also coordinating a shoebox drive at her Dundas school, and hopes at least 100 boxes are donated by students. In addition, she'll be involved with the Flamborough Operation Christmas Child Committee's entry in this year's Santa Claus parade, which will also accept filled boxes during the event, on November 26.

"It doesn't take much to fill a box with a few items," she urges. "Think about the child that has nothing and is going to be getting this box, and how excited they'll be."

"For me, it's a really great feeling that you're going to make someone's Christmas better than it was before," Martin adds.

In 2004, about 7.4 million boxes were collected worldwide and distributed to children in more than 95 countries. Canada donated about 735,000 shoeboxes.

Boxes - either cardboard shoeboxes or reusable plastic boxes available at local dollar stores - are to be filled with small items which are appropriate for children.

Samaritan's Purse, which organizes the international Operation Christmas Child campaign, suggests including toys (such as puzzles, cars, small balls, music makers, yo-yos and skipping ropes), school supplies (such as pencils, sharpeners, notebooks, solar-powered calculators and crayons), hygiene products (such as brushes and combs, hair ties, toothbrushes, soap and face cloths) and other small items like socks, hard candy and sunglasses.

People are asked not to include liquids, breakable items, medicines, used items or war-related toys.

Boxes are to be dropped off by Nov. 16 at the Flamborough Municipal Centre, Curves for Women in the Fortinos plaza, or Busybee Books and Toys store in the Sobey's plaza.

Interested volunteers, who are at least 14, are also invited to help package boxes for shipping at the Ontario warehouse. A Flamborough volunteer day has been organized for Nov. 19. To volunteer, call (905) 690-1918.

Pack up your cares

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

For many years, Ellen Martin has helped her family stuff shoeboxes with small gifts and useful items, as a way of wishing a happier Christmas for children around the world.

This year, however, the Millgrove Grade 12 student will be able to witness first-hand the joy those gift-filled shoeboxes bring to the faces of impoverished children.

On December 12, she will be heading to Belize for 10 days, to help distribute shoeboxes collected by the Operation Christmas Child campaign.

"I think it's going to be a life-changing experience," admits Martin.

She was inspired to apply to be part of the Canadian distribution team last winter, after she spent a day volunteering at the Ontario distribution warehouse, where boxes are packaged for shipping to children across the world in need of Christmas cheer.

"Here in Canada, we have so much, and people sometimes become focused on things they shouldn't be focused on," she says. "I'm sure it will be a very eye-opening experience, seeing the children."

In order to join the team of 73 Canadian students and 100 American students headed to Belize, Martin has had to raise $2,000 for the trip. Family and friends have supported her desire to help out.

The Parkside High School student is also coordinating a shoebox drive at her Dundas school, and hopes at least 100 boxes are donated by students. In addition, she'll be involved with the Flamborough Operation Christmas Child Committee's entry in this year's Santa Claus parade, which will also accept filled boxes during the event, on November 26.

"It doesn't take much to fill a box with a few items," she urges. "Think about the child that has nothing and is going to be getting this box, and how excited they'll be."

"For me, it's a really great feeling that you're going to make someone's Christmas better than it was before," Martin adds.

In 2004, about 7.4 million boxes were collected worldwide and distributed to children in more than 95 countries. Canada donated about 735,000 shoeboxes.

Boxes - either cardboard shoeboxes or reusable plastic boxes available at local dollar stores - are to be filled with small items which are appropriate for children.

Samaritan's Purse, which organizes the international Operation Christmas Child campaign, suggests including toys (such as puzzles, cars, small balls, music makers, yo-yos and skipping ropes), school supplies (such as pencils, sharpeners, notebooks, solar-powered calculators and crayons), hygiene products (such as brushes and combs, hair ties, toothbrushes, soap and face cloths) and other small items like socks, hard candy and sunglasses.

People are asked not to include liquids, breakable items, medicines, used items or war-related toys.

Boxes are to be dropped off by Nov. 16 at the Flamborough Municipal Centre, Curves for Women in the Fortinos plaza, or Busybee Books and Toys store in the Sobey's plaza.

Interested volunteers, who are at least 14, are also invited to help package boxes for shipping at the Ontario warehouse. A Flamborough volunteer day has been organized for Nov. 19. To volunteer, call (905) 690-1918.

Pack up your cares

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

For many years, Ellen Martin has helped her family stuff shoeboxes with small gifts and useful items, as a way of wishing a happier Christmas for children around the world.

This year, however, the Millgrove Grade 12 student will be able to witness first-hand the joy those gift-filled shoeboxes bring to the faces of impoverished children.

On December 12, she will be heading to Belize for 10 days, to help distribute shoeboxes collected by the Operation Christmas Child campaign.

"I think it's going to be a life-changing experience," admits Martin.

She was inspired to apply to be part of the Canadian distribution team last winter, after she spent a day volunteering at the Ontario distribution warehouse, where boxes are packaged for shipping to children across the world in need of Christmas cheer.

"Here in Canada, we have so much, and people sometimes become focused on things they shouldn't be focused on," she says. "I'm sure it will be a very eye-opening experience, seeing the children."

In order to join the team of 73 Canadian students and 100 American students headed to Belize, Martin has had to raise $2,000 for the trip. Family and friends have supported her desire to help out.

The Parkside High School student is also coordinating a shoebox drive at her Dundas school, and hopes at least 100 boxes are donated by students. In addition, she'll be involved with the Flamborough Operation Christmas Child Committee's entry in this year's Santa Claus parade, which will also accept filled boxes during the event, on November 26.

"It doesn't take much to fill a box with a few items," she urges. "Think about the child that has nothing and is going to be getting this box, and how excited they'll be."

"For me, it's a really great feeling that you're going to make someone's Christmas better than it was before," Martin adds.

In 2004, about 7.4 million boxes were collected worldwide and distributed to children in more than 95 countries. Canada donated about 735,000 shoeboxes.

Boxes - either cardboard shoeboxes or reusable plastic boxes available at local dollar stores - are to be filled with small items which are appropriate for children.

Samaritan's Purse, which organizes the international Operation Christmas Child campaign, suggests including toys (such as puzzles, cars, small balls, music makers, yo-yos and skipping ropes), school supplies (such as pencils, sharpeners, notebooks, solar-powered calculators and crayons), hygiene products (such as brushes and combs, hair ties, toothbrushes, soap and face cloths) and other small items like socks, hard candy and sunglasses.

People are asked not to include liquids, breakable items, medicines, used items or war-related toys.

Boxes are to be dropped off by Nov. 16 at the Flamborough Municipal Centre, Curves for Women in the Fortinos plaza, or Busybee Books and Toys store in the Sobey's plaza.

Interested volunteers, who are at least 14, are also invited to help package boxes for shipping at the Ontario warehouse. A Flamborough volunteer day has been organized for Nov. 19. To volunteer, call (905) 690-1918.