Plum Coulee exemplifies giving spirit

Operation Christmas Child South Central Manitoba Logistics Coordinator Gerald Unger and Regional Manager for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North West Ontario Lynnette Harris pose with donated shoeboxes. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

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Lynnette Harris brags about Plum Coulee and she’s not afraid to let people know it.
The Regional Manager for Operation Christmas Child in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North West Ontario says when she talks to communities about supporting the Samaritan’s Purse initiative, Plum Coulee often becomes the topic.
“Plum Coulee is one that I brag about often… just to say ‘you need to see what this little community does, that they do more shoeboxes than the population’,” she said. “It’s just absolutely incredible.”
Harris was in Plum Coulee with South Central Manitoba Logistics Coordinator Gerald Unger who’s been working with Operation Christmas Child locally for 19 years.
They accepted shoeboxes at the Christmas Tree Lighting celebration Nov. 14. Without counting the latest ones to come in (the final count is available Nov. 22), Unger reported a mountain of shoeboxes so far.
“What has come through so far is 989 plus what we see here,” he said as the pile grew.
Unger credits local churches and members for “believing in Jesus that they are following what God says to help others.”
“They’re helping other families by packing shoeboxes for all those needy kids around the world.”
“It’s just so rewarding to see,” he added.
Unger said next year will be his last in the position.
Harris said her job is to travel throughout her region to support and train volunteers. She credited southern Manitoba with stepping up.
“The heart of people in this whole area, Plum Coulee, Winkler, Morden, even Carman… it blows me away,” she said.
It’s not too late to contribute to the cause.
“If anyone missed the deadline and wants to pack a box, all through the year you can go to They can pick what they want to put in the box and pay for it online, and these get packed, and shipped, and is included in your numbers here.”