This article, written by Daily Runner staff, originally appeared on Regent University’s website.
On November 13, 2018, Samaritan’s Purse partnered with Regent University’s Office of Alumni Relations & Special Events for the annual Operation Christmas Child assembling event in the University Library atrium.
With Christmas melodies filtering through the atrium’s speakers, the place filled with warmth and cheer as volunteers came together to help pack each shoebox towering in a stack at the end of the table.
On that night, Regent students and alumni came together as a community seeking the same things: to extend God’s love, encouragement, and hope to children who might otherwise, not receive these things.
Since Samaritan’s Purse began the Operation Christmas Child project in 1993, the organization has collected and delivered more than 135 million shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries.
These shoe boxes, each unique and packed with care, are more than just the sum of their parts. For these kids, each shoebox is the love of God transformed into something they can hold.
Ruth Hubert ’21 (College of Arts & Sciences) said, “I appreciate being able to see my fellow students and I come around a mission that’s a lot bigger than we are. I get to be a blessing to people I will most likely never get to meet until the other side of heaven.”
The items found inside the boxes are both practical (toiletries) and fun for the kids (Slinky’s and finger puppets). Volunteers also included a handwritten note that communicated the love of God. These notes especially resonated with volunteers as the act of writing down words of encouragement was an important and meaningful experience.
When asked what Operation Christmas Child meant to Caden Arendt ’21 (CAS) and vice president of Regent’s Student Alumni Ambassadors, he shared, “Operation Christmas Child is an awesome opportunity to spread God’s love to children around the globe who wouldn’t usually get Christmas gifts.”
Chloe Kasper is a department head for the Daily Runner.