While Christmas is still well over a month away, charitable organizations are getting a head start on the holiday season to ensure they can spread joy to those in need. 

One of those organizations is the Free Methodist Church who is currently running Operation Christmas Child here in Weyburn.

"It's pretty simple," said volunteer Bev Alexander. "You take a box, there are red and green boxes available at the Wholesale store and at Expressions and at the Free Methodist Church. You take that box and you put in school supplies, hygiene items, some toys, anything that is going to make a child happy and you just pack that box with stuff. Then you bring it to the collection center and it goes to Calgary. And then from there, it goes to many countries around the world."

She noted that there are boxes for girls and boys as well as different age groups and the best items to put into the boxes are generally items we would take for granted. 

"Some of the most important things in that box are going to be school supplies because so many kids are not able to go to school around the world because they can't afford a notebook or, you know, a pencil. You hear the stories where you know my dad cut the notebook in half co my sister and I could both have paper to write on a school and broke the pencil in half and we just can't even fathom that because I think when school starts here, kids are expected to come to school with 12 and in other countries, their scrambling for one."

She also pointed out that it doesn't take much to fill these boxes.

"You know, sometimes people tend to make it harder than it needs to be. It's really very simple," she laughed. "You can't think in terms of 10 to 14-year-old kids in Canada. You have to think in terms of these are kids who don't have things. You're looking for the very basics. One of the things that makes especially the 10 to 14-year-old age bracket happy is a collapsible soccer ball and a ball pump. Stick it in a box."

Once shoe boxes are filled, they can be taken back to Weyburn Free Methodist Church. Alexander noted that the Church is open every day starting at 9:00 but official collection days are November 16th from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., November 17th from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and then again from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and November 18th from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.