How Sault Ste. Marie Made 1,614 Children Very Happy

children in Senegal and Costa Rica checking out their Canadian-packed Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes

Despite the challenges posed by inflation, shortages, and the conflict in Ukraine, Canadians lovingly packed 415,072 shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and many other items during the 2022 Samaritan’s Purse shoebox campaign, Operation Christmas Child. That’s an increase of more than 1,000 shoebox gifts over 2021’s total.

Of that Total, Ontario residents packed 151,788 shoeboxes in 2022 representing an increase from 2021 of 149,647 boxes.

Sault Ste. Marie contributed to the Canadian totals with  1,641boxes in 2022.

Distribution of shoeboxes around the world has already begun. During the next few weeks, children in Ukraine, the Philippines, Central America, and western Africa will be receiving shoeboxes packed by caring Canadians.

The 415,072  boxes donated in 2022—including tens of thousands of boxes packed online at—were part of a worldwide total of nearly 10.6 million collected in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Finland, South Korea, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of Canadians,” said Kendra Shields, director of Operation Christmas Child. “These gift-filled shoeboxes are a tangible expression of God’s love and will provide joy and hope to children, many of whom have never received a gift before.”

Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and hand-delivered more than 209 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in over 170 countries hurt by war, poverty, natural disaster, disease, and famine. This year, Samaritan’s Purse collected its milestone 200 millionth shoebox, which was hand-delivered to a young girl in Ukraine.

Sault Ste. Marie residents can still pack shoeboxes for children in need. Just visit and do it online!