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The Grant Memorial Church community stepped up in a big way this pre-holiday season.

After two weeks of collecting, we ended up with 4,601 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Between the church and Linden Christian, every single box got packed up and loaded onto a trailer, where they will stay until they arrive in Calgary later this month.

In 2017, Grant collected 4,433 shoeboxes.

Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse, is a "hands-on way for Canadians to bless struggling children in the developing world by filling shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and other items." Every time a shoebox is handed out, it is accompanied by the gospel of Jesus and the opportunity to join a 12-lesson "The Greatest Journey" course, which has brought more than 1.8 million kids a year to commit their lives to Christ.

Shoeboxes are given regardless of a child's gender, race, or religion.