Operation Christmas Child brings holiday cheer to kids

The spirit of Christmas is present at Eastern with Operation Christmas Child well under way. Christ’s Hands in Action is sponsoring the program for the fourth year in a row.

Franklin Graham, evangelist Billy Graham’s son, started Operation Christmas Child. The program involves people putting toys, toiletries and other odds and ends into shoeboxes, which are wrapped up and sent to children all over the world for Christmas.

“It helps get the Gospel to the children in their own language,” said Amanda Miles, senior and co-president of CHIA.

Currently, children in 95 countries will receive these shoeboxes. The boxes can be sent to boys or girls in the age groups of 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14.

The program was introduced to Eastern by co-president of CHIA, senior Marcie Brozyna.

“My church had done it and it [seemed like] a really good mission opportunity,” Brozyna said.

Students can get a lot out of donating a simple shoe box full of toys and other supplies.

Sophomore Julie Wright said Operation Christmas Child is “[something] more direct that you can do instead of just giving money to a place. More thought goes into it,” she said.

The drop-off deadline for boxes was November 17 from 8:30 -11:00 p.m. in Gough Great Room.

Brozyna said that the boxes need to be in by the “end of November to help them get around the world.”

“I’d want it to go to a really impoverished area, where the kids won’t take it for granted,” Wright said.

By putting up posters and going around to different Grow Groups, CHIA hopes to have a bigger response than in the past. The goal for this year is 200 boxes.

Brozyna considers this CHIA’s “best year, with dedicated girls who are doing a lot.”

Miles mentioned how students can add their “own personal note and [occasionally] you can keep in touch with the child who gets the shoebox.”

For Brozyna, she realized that showing these children that “someone cares is the best way to spread the Gospel.”

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