In November, Tech collected 300 boxes for underprivileged children in the 25th anniversary of Operation Christmas Child, a Christian outreach program through Samaritan’s Purse. The international relief organization spans across third-world countries to give Christmas gifts to children in need.
Jensen Lyons-Sabados, the current student coordinator, had experience working with Operation Christmas Child for two years prior at her local YMCA. After speaking with Michelle Huddleston, assistant director in the Service Learning Center, over the summer, Lyons-Sabados was able to use that experience to organize the ongoing campus program.
“For the past 25 years, they collect shoe boxes or small plastic boxes full of school supplies, personal care items, toys and clothing articles and they send them to children in areas torn by war, poverty and famine,” Lyons-Sabados said.
Throughout November, the Service Center collected items to fill shoeboxes for boys and girls ages 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14.
“I spent about $30 and I was able to impact two children’s lives. That is just mind-blowing to me. I think the best part of this program is that it shows something as small as a shoebox can be just monumental to children,” she said.
Along with the box, a donation of $9 is required to cover the cost of collecting, processing and shipping. Donors can also give a donation of six dollars as either a single gift or a monthly gift which can be used to send a child on a discipleship program called the “The Greatest Journey.”
The Cookeville community looks forward to next year’s National Collection Week.