Operation Christmas Child is a way that SNU students can come together to spread the love of God all over the world this holiday season. By simply filling a shoe box with toys, art supplies and hygiene items, students can give gifts to children all over the world, and for many of the children that will receive a shoebox this year, this is the only Christmas gift they have ever received.
Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief organization that is best known for their Operation Christmas Child initiative. Brayden Lehew is a student relations team member for Operation Christmas Child, and he has dedicated years to volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse because he has seen the beautiful impact of this organization.
The goal is for SNU students to pray over and send out 100 shoe boxes as a student body. On Monday night, November 12 at 7 pm in the Heritage room, there will be a service with worship and prayer time over the shoeboxes right before they are sent all around the world to children we will never meet. Brayden believes that sending off this shoebox is one of the most impactful things that Christians can do to spread the gospel.
Brayden pointed out that Operation Christmas Child is an opportunity to spark something bigger, because, “once you reach a child, you basically have a missionary. That child is going to tell anyone he knows that he knows Jesus.”
About 45 boxes have been handed out so far, so SNU is almost halfway to the goal. It’s not too late to run by the booth and grab a box. All you have to do is fill out a label inside the box, and mark whether your box is for a boy or a girl and select the age of your child. Then, you fill the box with age-appropriate toys and supplies for your child.
The boxes are shipped all over the world, so it is important that items in the box are appropriate for travel on a plane as well as appropriate for multiple cultures. That means the toys cannot be toy weapons or symbolize war in any way, and they ask that no liquids or foods are included in the box. They also ask that you do not include medication or breakable items in the box, and while they wholeheartedly recommend that you place a toothbrush in the box, toothpaste is on the list of things that they cannot send.
Many students have already picked up a shoebox, and a good way to chip in is to get one with your group of friends. There is a small, $9 fee to send your box, and between a group of friends, this is an easy achievement. When you pay the shipping fee, you get a tracking number and can learn where your box is going.
SNU student, Nathan Cummings, who has been working at the Operation Christmas Child booth this week, said that this is an opportunity to make a child feel valued, “which is one of the most important things that Christians can do.”
This holiday season, you have the opportunity to give value to someone that you will never meet. Stop by the commons and pick up an Operation Christmas Child shoebox, filling your box with love and care so that somewhere in the world, a child can receive a Christmas present and the knowledge that Jesus loves them.