Volunteers with Operation Christmas Child gathered in the University Center on Shawnee State’s Campus Wednesday to assemble and fill boxes to be donated to children in need around the world.
Year-Round Media Volunteer Tiffany Pistole, who has been involved with the charity for the past 11 years, believes the boxes are essential in the lives of needy children.
“Our goal today is to pack 1,250 gift filled shoeboxes. This is our first of two packing events we host each year, in November we will pack another 1,250 boxes. What we’re doing is filling the boxes with simple items we often take for granted like notebooks, crayons, pencils and toothbrushes. People have also donated hand-sewn bags, wash cloths and toys to be packed in the shoeboxes.”
Although the items included in the boxes are extremely useful to the recipients, Pistole feels like sometimes the simplest items make the biggest impact.
“School supplies and hygiene items are very practical, but the items like dolls or stuffed animals become the children’s most prized possessions that bring color to a dark world,” said Pistole.
Other volunteers also believe that the toys donated can sometimes make the largest impression on the children that receives them.
“It helps children, and gives them a toy to sleep with a night. It’s the right thing to do,” said Volunteer Sharon Danzer.
Gaylene St. Leger Cox, another Year-Round Media Volunteer, feels passionate about making a difference in the lives of children.
“Hearing stories from the children who are so grateful to receive these boxes only makes us want to push to fill more and more each year because it has truly changed their lives,” said St. Leger Cox. “Some of these children have never received a toy before, and when they get one in these boxes it provides for them tangible evidence of God’s love. What we pack are such simple gifts, but they reach the heart of a child.”
The boxes are dispersed to the needy children by teams who work directly with people of each community to reach children in all corners of the world.
“We have a national team and an international team that works hard to distribute the boxes to the children that need them. Some boxes travel by elephant, camel, and canoe to get to their destination,” said Pistole.
Operation Christmas Child will be hosting their second packing event on Shawnee’s Campus in November. They are always looking for donations of shoeboxes, beanie babies, and other unwanted toys.
National Collection week is Nov. 13-20 with the new donation drop being Temple Baptist Church.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932