Liberty’s SGA Operation Christmas Child Drive Begins in Time for the Holidays

As the air gets colder and the year winds down, organizations like Operation Christmas Child prepare to do their best work. This year, festive booths can be found in areas like Montview, the Food Court at Reber-Thomas and the LaHaye rotunda, offering shoe boxes for students to take, fill and donate with children around the world in mind.

Boxes can include things like small musical instruments, toys, stuffed animals, hygiene products or other items to help children in regions like South America, Africa and Asia. Once a box is filled, it’s collected, labeled, prayed over and then sent to a processing center where it will begin its journey to a child anywhere around the world. 

Liberty’s Operation Christmas Child club has packed over 4,000 shoeboxes, according to its page on Liberty’s website. President Seth Welch joined the club when he was just a freshman and a relatively new Christian, drawn in by the impact he saw the organization executing. Now a senior, this is his second year in the leadership role, and he’s seen the club grow in many ways as it continues to execute a Gospel-driven mission on campus. 

“By the end of this century, at the rate we’re going, every unreached people group will have heard of the gospel, so Operation Christmas Child plays a big role in that,” Welch said. “They spread that good news all over the world.”

Last year, the CSER option for participating in Operation Christmas Child was open to 30 students while this year, 75 students quickly filled an enlarged roster in the first few days that it was open. The club’s goal for this year is to pack 5,000 shoeboxes. 

“Usually these kids, years later, can be seen in all the recipient videos, and you’ll see that they still have those things. They hold on to them, and … that’s a special moment,” Welch said. 

The Operation Christmas Child club is also hosting a competition for residential students. The community group completing the most boxes, packed with quality items, will win a dinner with President Jerry Prevo.

“I would just encourage students to pack a box because every individual box is an opportunity for a kid in another country to hear the gospel,” Welch said.

Collection of boxes will be held on the Montview steps from Nov. 3 through Nov. 12. Students can still get boxes at this location and donate if they’re returned by the last day. Interested students can also look for upcoming prayer events hosted by the club. 

Members of the club meet once a month. The collection week for the boxes is known as Blitz Week, so the club is most active during that time. According to the page, “participants can expect to gain skills in leadership and communication through helping promote packing of shoeboxes as well as collection.”

Students wishing to get involved further can fill a box, participate in CSER, or join the Operation Christmas Child Club.

Picotte is a news reporter.

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