Warren Peper // University Relations // 11.09.2016
How do the contents of a shoebox express God’s love? CSU students received a real understanding of that concept at today’s Chapel service, hosted by a team from Operation Christmas Child.
The project, founded by Samaritan’s Purse, provides Christmas shoeboxes to boys and girls in more than 150 countries. The boxes are stuffed with both toys and basic essentials (comb, toothbrush, socks or a bar of soap).
According to Operation Christmas Child, the value of the contents is in many cases less than $10 in the United States, but what it might mean to a child in Zambia, Romania or Haiti, is priceless.
Clark Carter, Charleston Southern University’s Dean of Students, witnessed first-hand how those boxes were received on a recent trip to the Dominican Republic. “This project, though, is not about us (CSU), it’s about spreading the Gospel,” Carter said at today’s service.
The Operation Christmas Child team also showed a video documentary of a Romanian orphan named Zhenya. The boy spoke of getting his first shoebox and receiving a bar of soap and his own wash cloth.
“The smell of Irish Spring is still with me,” says Zhenya, who was later adopted as a teenager by a family in Texas.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories.
With more than 500,000 volunteers worldwide, the program hopes to collect enough shoebox gifts to reach another 12 million children this year.
Charleston Southern will host its annual shoebox packing party next Thursday, November 17, at 8:00 in the Lightsey Chapel Auditorium. CSU students are expected to pack an estimated 2,000 boxes to contribute to this year’s Operation Christmas Child.
Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, four-year liberal arts college. CSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The University's vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.