A Meadow Lake couple recently took their support for Operation Christmas Child to the next level.

Ken and Ruth Ness spent Dec. 8 and 9 in Calgary, inspecting Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes filled with gifts before the items were packed in cartons and transported to Central America, West Africa, the Philippines and Ukraine.

“Our church, the Evangelical Free Church in Meadow Lake, has been making up shoeboxes and sending them to Samaritan’s Purse to the distraction centre in Calgary for a number of years – probably 15-20 years,” Ness told Northern Pride. “We’ve always talked about going to the distribution centre in Calgary and volunteering. We knew some other people who had done so in the past, and then – about two months ago – our friends, Rod and Monica Ens, invited us to go with them and we agreed it would be a great idea and an awesome way to help a good cause. It’s a great way to help spread God’s love throughout the world.”

Rod and Monica Ens are former Meadow Lake residents who now live in the Prince Albert area.

“They’re really organized at the distribution centre,” Ness continued. “It’s a well-oiled machine. Within the first few minutes they showed us videos of underprivileged kids around the world, opening their shoeboxes. These kids have nothing, but the joy on their faces upon opening these shoeboxes is just heartwarming. You start tearing up and you realize just what a good cause it is you’re supporting.”

As Ness stated, when the shoeboxes arrive at their destination countries, they are given to children who, in many cases, have never received a gift in their lives.

“Ruth and I will no doubt volunteer again next year,” Ness added. “Volunteering here has been very enjoyable. Everything runs so smoothly and the staff is wonderful. We’ll definitely do this again.”

Anyone interested in contributing to Operation Christmas Child can find more information by visiting the website www.PackaBox.ca.

“It was also fun to work with the many different people who were there,” Ness aid. “It was a very worthwhile experience.”

by Phil Ambroziak