Each year in November, Cru, one of the on-campus ministries, helps run Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child is a program dedicated to giving gifts to children in need. From Nov. 2 to Nov. 11, members of Cru work a table in HSU during lunch time in order to gather donations and volunteers for Operation Christmas Child.
The project is run by Samaritan’s Purse, which is a non-denominational Christian organization that seeks to provide aid to people in more than 100 countries throughout the world. Operation Christmas Child began in 1993 and has gathered around 157 million shoeboxes full of gifts to send to children in 160 different countries, according to the Samaritan’s Purse website. The program’s goal is providing gifts and support to children around the world that might not otherwise receive one.
“It’s a cool way to spread Christmas cheer around the holiday season to kids who maybe don’t get Christmas presents,” said Senior Hallie Murray.
Cru has run Operation Christmas Child at HC for many years now and is in charge of ordering materials, advertising the program, finding volunteers, and mailing in the shoeboxes. In order to connect with students, they run a booth inside HSU from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. that seeks volunteers to put the shoeboxes together.
“We have students in our ministry help run [the stand], or just anyone who wants to be a part of it can help run our stand, and we have a collection party one night where everyone comes in and brings their box that they packed,” Murray said.
Cru seeks to engage students to volunteer and give back to their communities as the holiday season approaches. Murray feels that it benefits the HC community as well as the recipients of the boxes.
“It’s a great feeling of togetherness, everyone coming together for one common purpose, and that’s simply just to spread cheer. This is also a really great Christian ministry and this can be a great chance to share the gospel with others,” Murray said.
In order to make Operation Christmas Child work, Cru needs volunteers to create boxes and encourage people to create them. Anyone can volunteer to fill a shoebox with gifts by registering at the table in HSU. Volunteers purchase a fun toy as well as different hygiene items and school supplies. The organization recommends that liquid or sharp items are not included in the boxes. The boxes will be returned to Cru before being sent to Samaritan’s Purse.
Cru will be registering volunteers to fill boxes until Nov. 11.