Liberty Collects 4,000 Shoe Boxes For Operation Christmas Child
With the Christmas season in full swing, Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is preparing to distribute the filled boxes donated by students and families alike, so children around the world can experience the gospel in a tangible way. Liberty University contributed greatly through another year of campus-wide box collections.
This year, Liberty’s OCC drive collected a total of 4,000 filled boxes from students. This matched the number of boxes collected over the past three years combined. The boxes will now be delivered to one of the eight collection centers around the United States to be processed and sent around the world by delivery trucks to communities, bringing them Christmas joy.
According to a post on Liberty’s OCC Club’s Instagram, students are also encouraged to pray over the boxes, blessing their gifts to these anonymous children.
“Pray for the kids that will receive these boxes and that they will experience the love of Christ through them,” according their Instagram post.
Even though the purpose of this project is to extend kindness through gift-giving and share the gospel to children in need around the world, oftentimes students who donate are also touched by the experience. Sophomore writing major Olivia Matson described the impact this year’s drive had on her.
“I wanted to do Operation Christmas Child because it’s something that I grew up doing, and I love getting gifts for Christmas so thinking about kids that don’t get that makes me sad,” Matson said. “My favorite part was thinking about the kid that’s going to get it because obviously I’ve never experienced half of what they’re going to experience but trying to put yourself in their shoes and thinking about what they would want is fun for me.”
Matson also gave insight into the student’s responsibility to give back.
“I think it’s very appropriate since people that go here have been given very much. A lot of us are privileged in our own ways so to know that we’re sharing that is to share the love of Jesus and it’s what we need to be doing,” Matson said.
Though the OCC national collection week is over, boxes can still be packed online for $25 through the Samaritan’s Purse website, at samaritanspurse.org, through mid-December.
An online donation begins with choosing the gender and age of the desired recipient, customizing the box contents unless the option is chosen for the box to be assembled and the option to upload a family picture and add a note. Participants can also track the box to see where it is delivered.
In the club’s “off-season,” the group has hosted prayer sessions like one previously hosted on the steps of Montview according to Club President Seth Welch.
Picotte is a news reporter.