CIU stuffs shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child

Cana Hendley displayes a shoebox ready for shipping.
November 06, 2020

Christmas came a little early to the Columbia International University campus. Students gathered to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, the ministry of Samaritan’s Purse that sends the shoeboxes and the gospel to children around the world. 

CIU has a goal of sending 200 boxes this year, with the first 30 assembled at a “Packing Party” in the Rossi Student Center. Psychology major Cana Hendley was among those who went from station to station stuffing the boxes with small toys such as balls and practical items including school supplies.

“I get to impact kids on the other side of the world and give them a little slice of joy,” Hendley said. 

Earlier in the day representatives from Operation Christmas Child presented their ministry in Chapel and brought along a guest named Joseph (last name and country withheld for security reasons) who grew up in an Asian nation where in some regions Christianity was not welcomed. Today, he lives in the Columbia area and recounted how he received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox as a child.

“It was so joyful opening the boxes … We felt so much love through these boxes,” said Joseph who now assists in the ministry. 

Operation Christmas Child reaches over 110 countries, spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.  There were over 11 million boxes sent around the world, at over 75,000 events last year.

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