Campus Packing Party Fills More than 300 Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
November 21, 2013
The lobby of Catawba's Cannon Student Center turned into a station for Operation Christmas Child on November 20th. More than 90 people – faculty, staff, students and members of the community – joined in a packing party and filled more than 300 shoe boxes to send to children around the world.
As hot chocolate and popcorn were enjoyed and Christmas music played, busy hands packed the shoeboxes with gift items, including school supplies, small toys, socks, hygiene items, and candy. The gift items were donated or purchased with contributions people made to the project. Some shoeboxes arrived filled and ready to go.
According to Jan Gillean, Catawba's director of student activities, the college has served as a relay center for the boxes for the past 15 years and has thrown a packing party for the past three years.
"It's about getting in the Christmas spirit early, but it's also about reaching out to people across the world and sending them a message," Gillean said. "The students wrote notes to the children and put these in the boxes as well so it gave the boxes a personal touch."
The filled shoeboxes will leave Catawba's campus early the week of Thanksgiving and be taken to Charlotte. From there, they will be distributed to children in desperate situations in more than 100 countries around the world.
The annual Operation Christmas Child program is a project of the Charlotte, N.C.-based non-profit, Samaritan's Purse. For more information on how to pack a box, go to www.samaritanspurse.org and click on Operation Christmas Child.