Ready to Become Santa Claus?

December marks the beginning of the holiday season that so many children around the world are waiting for. (Can anyone say ‘presents’?) However, children in developing countries are not able to enjoy the joys of this season, let alone new toys.

So, how can you turn down the opportunity to make a child smile this Holiday Season? Samaritan’s Purse has partnered with SFU’s The Point Church to bring you the opportunity to do just that.

The Samaritan’s Purse is a Canadian Christian Organization that provides physical aid in the form of medical projects, community development projects, and emergency relief to developing countries. They partner with local organizations and churches to recruit volunteers for their projects to help break the cycle of poverty.

“It is important to get involved in the community, whether it is internationally or locally” said Nathan, a fellow volunteer. I met him and three other volunteers, Cora, Shannon, and Maytel, at The Point’s center of operations in Cornerstone. They use the store as their place to hang out, study, and meet people who come in with questions.

In previous years, the Point Church has taken part in Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan’s Purse project. This year, however, they have added their own twist to this movement: The Metro Box.

The Metro Box is a box for a child in the Metro Vancouver community. “It is the first year we do this at such a large scale” and “the first time we do the Metro Box” were comments from the enthusiastic bunch I met.

Here is what you can do in three steps:

Step 1: Pick up a shoe box at Cornerstone (between the Dollar store and Scotiabank), open Tuesdays to Fridays, 9:30 am to 1:30pm.You can choose from two options:

-          A Samaritan’s Purse for a child in Haiti


-          The Point’s Metro Box. Nester’s Market will add a non-perishable hamper to every box sent out.

Step 2: Choose to send a box to a boy or a girl in one of three age categories: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14 years of age.

Step 3: Fill your shoe box with items like:

- School Supplies
- Toys & Other Gifts – Think stuffed animals, t-shirts, socks, and candy (loose, individually wrapped hard candy in a sealable bag)
- Hygiene Items – Specially for the 10-14 years of age category
- Personal Note - Include a personal note and/or a photo in your shoe box

Please do not send items that can melt, break, or harm or scare a child. Also, please avoid liquids and food. For more information on these and other restrictions, go to Operation Christmas Child.

There is also a $7 donation used to pay for any transportation and customs related fees, which you drop off with your box.

Samaritan’s Purse boxes need to be filled and dropped off at The Point store by November 25 and Metro Boxes need to be dropped off by December 6.

If you need more information check out The Point webpage, or send them a message directly. The Interfaith Center also has information. I encourage you to visit the The Point at Cornerstone store soon and support this great cause!

By Leslie Pineda