Community steps up for children

Ponoka and surrounding communities have been busy Christmas shopping for children around the world.

The team at Sunny 94 in Lacombe have had a busy November collecting shoeboxes from local communities for Operation Christmas Child.

The team at Sunny 94 in Lacombe have had a busy November collecting shoeboxes from local communities for Operation Christmas Child.

Ponoka and surrounding communities have been busy Christmas shopping for children around the world.

As part of Samaritan’s Purse’s Operation Christmas Child individuals and families have been taking up the challenge to help provide a valuable and exciting Christmas for young children in poor countries.

To help support the cause Sunny 94, the radio station based in Lacombe, has been collecting shoeboxes filled with toys and school supplies from different local communities.

Sunny 94 began collecting the boxes on Nov. 1 and the office soon became full of boxes and the pile grew higher and higher with each passing day. The day before the shoeboxes were to be collected from Sunny 94 they had a whopping 1,416 gift boxes and more were still trickling in until Nov. 20.

Darcy Stingel from Sunny 94, was pleased with the amount of support demonstrated by the members of these communities and impressed with the record amount of shoeboxes that took over his office space.

“It’s great to see the community come together for such a worthy cause,” said Stingel. “It included both the young and the young at heart and it’s great to see kids come in and give gifts to kids their own age.”

Businesses, schools and service groups also came together to create shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and included the communities of Lacombe, Alix, Clive, Bentley, Ponoka and everywhere in between.

Sunny 94 also teamed up with the Lacombe Municipal Ambulance Service who went around town and collected shoeboxes.

In Ponoka, the drop off for the shoeboxes was at Steel Magnolias which collected approximately 80 boxes.

This is the third year that Sunny 94 has been involved with Operation Christmas Child with this year setting the record for the most boxes.

“It’s a lot of fun and these communities have been extremely supportive,” said Stingel. “It’s a fairly easy thing to do yet the impact is so enormous.”