Operation Christmas Child returns
As students flocked to the Caf for the Thanksgiving meal, many stopped by the Caf Banquet Room to help pack over 200 boxes full of toys and supplies for children around the world for Biola’s second annual Operation Christmas Child on Nov. 16.
BOXES AND MEMORIES
Hosted by 6th Street Public Relations and Samaritan’s Purse, the event reached its goal of packing 200 boxes, the same as last year’s goal. After receiving $1,000 from the Student Government Association, 6th Street made the event bigger by adding a hot chocolate bar and more decorations to the Caf Banquet Room. In light of last year’s success, they decided to host the event the same day as the Caf’s Thanksgiving meal.
“They accidently did it last year, but this year we purposefully did it on the same day as Cafsgiving… because it’s just a fun night, everybody is already excited about that meal, so doing something else fun while you’re in the spirit of being thankful,” said Florin Homer, account executive for 6th Street PR and senior business major.
Students came before and after their meals, reminiscing of similar events as kids with family and churches.
“We were just in the Caf having dinner and they convinced us to spend five minutes of our time being selfless,” said Stephen Williams, senior music education major. “I used to do Operation Christmas Child as a kid, I always loved it, it was really fun.”
After packing the boxes, students could donate to the shipping costs for their box. By donating, they received a QR code to track the box and find out what country it goes to.
NEW UPCOMING MINISTRY
After hosting the event for two years, however, 6th Street plans to pass off the event to an upcoming Samaritan's Purse ministry on campus. Homer expects the ministry to restructure the event in hopes of encouraging more students to donate items and money for the boxes.
“It’s hard to get college students to give money, let alone go out and spend money to buy donations,” Homer said. “[The Samaritan’s Purse ministry is] going to be restructuring next year, potentially going to do sponsorships… or having a bigger group of people involved.”
Homer hopes as people packed their boxes, along with thousands around the country, each participant took the opportunity to think about and pray over the young recipient of the box, and consider the impact in the child’s life.
“Last night, we were making little coloring books, my housemates were helping me and I was saying, some kid is going to open the book and just treasure it,” Homer said.
For some students, the event holds personal significance. Freshman math major Jayne Hanna attended in hopes of returning the love shown to her as a kid.
“Having been on the receiving end of similar organizations, I know how much it can brighten a kid’s Christmas season, just knowing someone out there cares about you. So I would love to extend that in some way, extend the love somehow,” Hanna said.