Locals join shoebox squad in Senegal

Bonnie Jean Low, at left, and Dave and Colleen Spelliscy travelled to Senegal in July to distribute gift boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — A month after returning home from the West African country of Senegal, three Davidson folks are still working through the experience in their minds.

Dave and Colleen Spelliscy and Bonnie Jean Low spent two weeks there in July volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse, distributing thousands of gift boxes through the organization’s Operation Christmas Child (OCC) program.

They and their teammates personally handed out close to 3,500 shoeboxes, containing toys, school supplies and toiletries, to children in need.

“It felt like a whirlwind because we were very busy,” said Colleen, adding, “You’re so concentrated on what you’re doing, you don’t have time to be tired.”

“It wasn’t as exhausting as we thought it would be,” said Bonnie Jean.

Each year, boxes are packed by volunteers in Canada and other countries, then distributed across Latin America, the Carribean and West Africa. Last year, Canadians donated more than 664,000 shoeboxes.

This was the second such trip for the Spelliscys, a retired couple who previously went to Costa Rica in May 2016.

After learning that one volunteer had to cancel their plans, Dave and Colleen thought of Bonnie Jean and extended an invitation to her.

Bonnie Jean, a home care worker, had just told friends that she had no summer plans yet when she received their text message. After making arrangements to take time off from work, she was able to join them.

They were part of a team of 24 Canadian volunteers, mostly from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

For the full story, please see the Aug. 28 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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