Golden has been very generous over the holiday season, donating a total of 363 shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child, and now Golden’s Kirsten Libby will have the opportunity to distribute some of them herself in Haiti.
“In February, with my school Rocky Mountain College, we are going to Haiti to deliver Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes,” said Libby. “We’ll also be working with an orphanage, and building homes while we’re there.”
Libby, along with eight to 10 students from all across Canada, will be spending three days building homes, one day handing out shoeboxes with Operation Christmas Child, and the rest of their trip volunteering at an orphanage.
It is the dream that Libby has had for quite some time.
“Operation Christmas Child is an organization we’ve had in Golden for 18 years now, so that’s been something that’s been in my heart all my life. And my mom went on a distribution trip to Bolivia four or five years ago, and now I’m going on it. It’s very exciting,” she said. Since its inception in 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and distributed more than 86 million shoeboxes worldwide, each filled with hygiene items, school supplies, toys, and candy. The boxes are given to children regardless of gender, race, religion or age.
“Every child that signs up for it gets a shoebox, just one each, and that will be the only gift they get in their life, so it’s a big deal,” said Libby.
“Haiti happened to be the country that my school was going to, but what’s really neat about that is it’s the Canadian shoeboxes that are going to Haiti. So that’s really special for me, that I could get boxes from Golden that are going to this country.
“This will be my first time ever going overseas and distributing them. This has definitely been a life mission for me, and this is where my heart is.”
The organization starts letting people know about the boxes in October.
They start collecting them in November, and ideally have them done by the end of November.
The boxes are then sent to a warehouse in Calgary where they are checked to make sure they are safe for the children, and will make it through customs.
The boxes are then distributed all over the world, throughout the entire year.
“It’s only been going 19 years, so Golden started the second year. It’s been getting bigger,” said Libby. “One of our big supporters is definitely the Dollar Store, Charlene donates huge amounts of stuff every year. And Ken Lehmann, of Golden Transfer, donates his trucks every year to get them to Calgary. Without him we wouldn’t have got them anywhere. So a huge thank you to those two.”