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Operation Christmas Child Spreads Holiday Cheer To Children In Need

Monday night, the Freeze Foundation and Fellowship of Christian Athletes gathered in the Indoor Practice Facility for Operation Shoebox with Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child is a foundation that gathers toys and other necessities for underprivileged children, ages 5-9, in other countries. Toys and other necessities filled the tables and unpacked boxes awaited their turn to be filled. Children, anxious to help, stacked boxes in a pyramid shape for people to grab and fill. Many students, faculty and families came to show their support and joined the shoebox packing all for a good cause.

Sarah McCullen, a long time volunteer of Operation Christmas Child, explained how exciting she was about collaborating with Ole Miss over the years and how successful it has been.

“Last year they packed over 875 boxes with fraternities, sororities and other organizations and this year I think we’re going to break 1,000 boxes,” she said. “I am so thankful to the Freeze Foundation for partnering with us to provide this packing party for student athletes.”

Sammie Smith, director of character development with the Ole Miss Football Fellowship of Christian Athletes, described his experience with Operation Christmas Child and how it has been a great way for athletes to get involved with the community. Smith also talked about how impactful it is to Fellowship of Christian Athletes in being involved in ministry and serving. Smith, along with others, aided kids in packing their boxes, writing encouraging letters and praying for the kids that would soon receive their box.

“It’s such a great opportunity to serve and help others,” Smith said.

Kayla Bourgeois, a member of FCA, also felt grateful for the opportunity to help a child in need. Her and other members of FCA packed multiple boxes and included hand written letters in the boxes that they hope will uplift a child during Christmas. She emphasized that she attended this because she wanted to make sure that the kids got gifts because no one wants to miss out on gifts on Christmas.

“It’s awesome to share the love of Christ and let them know that Jesus loves them,” Bourgeois said.

Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection week is November 14 – 21. If you would like to contribute to Operation Christmas Child, visit their website at samaritanspurse.org or follow @olemissshoeboxproject on Instagram for ways to get involved locally.

Khadijah Lacey is a journalism student at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. She can be reached at krlacey@go.olemiss.edu.

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